WASHINGTON – In an unusual move, the White House on Wednesday apologized to former Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson for angry messages sent after President Joe Biden’s party. withdrew from the race.
White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients called former Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson this morning to apologize for his one-sentence statement after the Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday that it was closing. 2024 campaign After a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night.
“This news comes as a shock to those who could have sworn he was already on vacation,” the DNC said in a statement released by national press secretary Sarafina Chitika.
Chitika did not respond to a request for comment on the release.
A Biden aide said in an interview that no one at the DNC would lose their job over the revelation, chalking up the episode to a mistake made during a fast-paced, highly charged campaign season.
Hutchinson It gained 0.2% Ranked 6th in Iowa. He ran an atypical campaign in the Donald Trump era, openly criticizing the former president even as other GOP presidential candidates made noise around legal challenges and controversies surrounding Trump, the party’s front-runner.
Hutchinson, 73, ran as a more traditional Republican, following a certain culture on the campaign trail that Trump and his MAGA movement have long shunned.
Because of this, given Biden’s promise to unite and heal a divided nation, the DNC statement seemed gratuitous and somewhat off-brand. Hutchinson, a retreat of sorts, epitomized the kind of establishment Republican that Biden has come to respect during his 36 years in the Senate.
The DNC, the political arm of the Democratic Party, ultimately answers to Biden. After his victory in the 2020 election, he tapped Jaime Harrison to chair the DNC.
The DNC statement about Hutchinson “does not reflect [Biden’s] White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a briefing on Wednesday.
“President Biden has deep respect for Governor Hutchinson and admires the race he ran,” he added. “The president recognizes him as a principled person who cares about our country and has strong experience in public service.”
In an interview, Hutchinson said he appreciated the call from Zients. But he questioned the culture and training at the DNC if staff members thought a statement mocking the failure of someone trying to steer the GOP in a different direction was somehow appropriate.
“I don’t know” who wrote the statement, Hutchinson said. “Everyone addresses that person as a young worker. This means that we are teaching our future leaders to ignore derogatory comments – mocking – and to focus on things that don’t really matter.
“So here’s the thing,” he said. “Let’s mentor that young employee. Who teaches them this? that’s it [happening on] both sides of the aisle. This is not what America expected. Politics hurts. And I hope that there will be a lot of retraining based on this.”
This is not the first time a GOP presidential candidate has defeated the DNC. Last month, Chitika made the announcement after ending the campaign of another Republican candidate.
North Dakota Governor Burgum said in a statement: “Millions of Americans today are responding to Doug Burgum’s dropout with a resounding ‘Who is this?’ he reacts.
The call from Zients was sincere, Hutchinson said — but not enough to support Biden’s re-election bid.
When asked what Trump would do if he won the nomination, Hutchinson said he was waiting to hear the results of Trump’s four criminal cases.
“I’m not going to support a convicted felon,” he said. “I expect to support the Republican candidate, and I hope he is someone different than Donald Trump.”