Asa Hutchinson and Will Hurd, two of the most vehemently anti-Trump candidates in the Republican presidential primary, saw Tuesday’s four counts against the former president as justification.
“I have always said that Donald Trump is morally responsible for the attack on our democracy. Now our justice system will determine whether he is criminally responsible,” Hutchinson, a former congressman and former Arkansas governor, said in a statement shortly after the indictment was unveiled.
He also took the opportunity, as he has in the past, to say that Trump should withdraw from the Republican race because of the impeachment.
“The latest indictment reinforces my earlier call that Donald Trump should withdraw from the campaign for the good of the country. If not, voters will have to choose a different path,” he said.
Hutchinson and Hurd, along with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, are the most prominent Trump opponents in the Republican presidency. However, they remain in the single digits in the polls as Trump claims a comfortable lead over second-place candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis despite his mounting legal woes.
Former Texas Rep. Hurd repeated a message he delivered last week to a Republican crowd in Iowa, where many responded with boos.
“Donald Trump is not running for President to make America great. He is not running for President to represent the people who voted for him in 2016 or 2020 or who donated to his campaign,” Hurd said Tuesday on NBC News Now.
“He’s running to avoid going to jail.”
Hurd added that Trump is afraid of dying behind bars.
“He’s 78 years old and if any of those counts count and he’s found guilty, he’ll be in prison for the rest of his life,” he said.
Hurd acknowledged that his remarks were met with boos in Iowa, but said there were some in the audience who didn’t boo and some who even clapped.
“The people I spoke to with these statements are people who believe in common sense. There are more of these people. And don’t be afraid of Donald Trump,” he said.