Former Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson would use “lethal force” at the southern border

Asa Hutchinson said he will not support a Trump bid for a second term in the White House because he has been convicted of a felony. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

The race for the White House began with the first 2024 Republican presidential primary debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 23, where eight nominees intended to persuade voters. 

Attendees included former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former United Nations (UN) Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

The candidate from the natural state, who led Arkansas for 8 years and has supported the pro-life movement throughout his life, highlighted all his achievements at the beginning of his speech. 

He was also known as a heavy prosecutor when he was the state’s attorney general, even becoming the main head of the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and helping the Homeland Security agency in times of crisis.

Hutchinson’s most attention during the debate was when he brought up the immigration issue of the southern border, where most of the people crossing into the United States have no authorization to do so, but the lack of job opportunities and insecurity issues in their countries force them to look for a better life somewhere else. 

“There would be lethal force used by the Border Patrol and law enforcement as needed to protect the border, absolutely,” he said. “We cannot be successful going against the cartel unless we bring in Mexico as a partner. We have to use economic pressure to accomplish that. President Obrador has not been helpful, and we have to use economic pressure that this administration is not using.”

Hutchinson set out to start his presidential race, taking irregular immigration as a perfect weapon to favor a very conservative base that sympathizes with the same ideals.

Political analyst Michelle Ochoa, from New Jersey, believes the political agenda used by the former governor of Arkansas is very similar to the one used by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign in 2016, when he accused Mexican immigrants of importing drugs and bringing many problems to the states.

“The progressive conservative agenda that Mr. Hutchinson infuses is identical to the same distorted political perspective that former President Donald Trump was pursuing,” Ochoa said. “Wanting to use imperialism to achieve a political contest causes divisions between the countries involved, and of course, it generates a very unfavorable conflict, for which the only thing it offers is a delay instead of comprehensive solutions.”

The analyst added that people should not believe much of what the candidates said, especially when they suggest something that is clearly illegal and goes against the rights of individuals and transnational interests.

“Most of the agendas that candidates use to attract voters cannot be fulfilled when it comes to governing, because the winner of a political election only represents the head of a nation,” Ochoa argued. “Nothing can be done without both chambers approving said presidents’ agendas; therefore, people should not trust or believe all the political propaganda of the candidates.”

On the other hand, Hutchinson took on former President Donald Trump, saying he is unwilling to support a candidate who has been convicted by a court not just once but multiple times. 

According to Hutchinson, Trump is disqualified for his participation in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when his supporters broke the windows of the chambers trying to find former president Mike Pence and hang him on the spot for failing to obey his former boss’s autocratic orders, where he was asked to revert the vote count of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Hutchinson took advantage of the debate to talk about the country’s education, saying that China should not beat the United States in technology efforts. 

He offered to eradicate that issue by encouraging future generations to become leaders in science and technology worldwide. “As President of the United States, I will make sure we go from 51% of our schools offering computer science to every school in rural areas and urban areas offering computer science for the benefit of our kids and we can compete with China in terms of technology,” he said.

Despite his position on immigration, the Hutchinson family is building a long-standing reputation in education. His daughter, the current governor of Arkansas, Sarah H. Sanders, has shown herself to be a leader in education with her bill known as the LEARNS Act, which offers vouchers so that students can go to either a public or private school without being charged extra tuition fees. She also increased all teachers’ salaries to $50,000 annually.

Although former President Trump didn’t show up to the debate, the New York Times reports he is leading the polls with 54%. As for other candidates, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is reaching 17%, and former vice president Mike Pence is overall at 3%.

Last updated on August 31, 2023 by Ramón Warini

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Ramón Warini

My name is Ramón, currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Media Studies, concentrating in Audio/Podcasting at University of Nevada Las Vegas. This is going to be my second educational goal, as I possess an associate degree of applied science in Multimedia Graphic Authoring, earned from the College of Southern Nevada in 2012. Thus, by the end of my journey at UNLV, I will become a multimedia journalist.