Kristi Noem Responds to Asa Hutchinson's Fact-Free Attack

AP Photo/Stephen Groves File

If you don’t know who Gov. Asa Hutchinson is, you aren’t missing much. The current Governor of Arkansas has been floated as a 2024 candidate, but what’s more noteworthy is how he’s attempted to raise his profile.

Instead of being a Republican who cares about advancing the priorities of GOP voters, Hutchinson has sought to become a type of Larry Hogan-lite, making January 6th an issue and vetoing a bill that would have protected girls from having to compete with boys in sports in his state. RedState covered that controversy here and here.

Hutchinson’s reasoning was that it was somehow big government interference to protect children, writing parental concerns off as simply a product of the culture wars. Here’s my commentary at the time surrounding his comments.

Hutchinson tried to couch his veto in platitudes about “government overreach” because he thinks Republicans are stupid enough to buy that.

“This is a government overreach. You are starting to let lawmakers interfere with healthcare and set a standard for legislation overriding healthcare,” Hutchinson said in a Monday news conference. “The state should not presume to jump into every ethical health decision.”

Oh, you mean how abortions are banned for underage children in Arkansas? Or how you can’t just shoot up your ten your old with botox? The idea that the government doesn’t already protect children by stopping certain “healthcare” treatments is simply false. Why would the same principle not apply to something as serious as attempting to “transition” a 12-year-old?

My conclusion was that this is exactly how Republicans end up losing so often. Hutchinson apparently comes from an establishment class that believes you can just float above the fray, not engaging in the culture wars, and somehow not end up losing all of society in the process. As the conservative battle over Critical Race Theory has proven, getting in the mud and throwing punches is necessary if there’s going to be anything left to conserve at the end of the day.

Given all that, it was no surprise when Hutchinson also decided to weigh in on Republican governors sending troops to the border. That’s being done to help Texas with the huge illegal immigration surge in the Rio Grande Valley. While appearing on CNN with Dana Bash, something Republicans should never do, Hutchinson decided to take a swipe at Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota. In doing so, he clearly didn’t have all the facts.

Yeah, except that’s not what happened. Noem responded with the actual timeline showing that the deployment was already planned before the donation to the state came in.

There are two things here that suggest Hutchinson should be prepared for a nice, long retirement after his term in Arkansas is up.

One, no Republican governor should be taking a swipe at another Republican governor like this without having all the information at hand. Hutchinson could have easily asked Noem what happened before appearing. Short of that, he could have told Bash that he needs to learn more before sharing an opinion on the matter.

Two, forgetting the lack of substance of Hutchinson’s critique, why is he on CNN taking partisan setup questions from Dana Bash meant to cause dissension within the party? That alone is enough to disqualify him from ever being taken seriously by Republicans ever again. There are a lot of things GOP voters will forgive. Being a pawn for CNN is not one of them. That Hutchinson chose to do so, hitting at a popular GOP governor in the process, shows a profound lack of judgment on his part.

Perhaps Hutchinson is expecting all his knee bending to produce a nice, fat board position following his political career? He’d better hope so because any hope that he can compete in 2024 is pure delusion.