A Republican presidential nominee for 2024 and another GOP official considering running for the White House distanced themselves from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who says he is considering pardons for Jan. 6 rioters.
DeSantis said Thursday that he would consider pardoning those involved in the attack on the US Capitol on his first day in office.
“I’m going to have people get together and look at all these cases… people [who] “We are victims of weapons or political attacks and we will be aggressive in granting pardons,” he said.
Over 500 people have pleaded guilty – and more than 400 have been convicted – to crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack, committed by Donald Trump supporters trying to block confirmation of the 2020 election.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who is considering running for president in 2024, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the idea was “not something” he would do, before saying that the comments of his potential Challenger’s “not disqualifying”.
“Of course I wouldn’t do anything, but not disqualify. Look, I think unfortunately nowadays there is nothing that disqualifies a candidate,” Sununu said on Sunday.
“We’ve seen exaggerations on both sides, we’ve seen extremes on both sides. So if we say that a problem will put the candidate out of the running. That might have been the case in 1996, but it’s bizarre how individual themes no longer resonate and no longer exclude any candidate.”
He went on to criticize his Republicans for focusing on “all these things from the past,” including the Capitol riot, before claiming that the party should focus on the future.
Discussion of possible pardons comes after Trump said in a CNN town hall earlier this month: promised forgiveness a “large fraction” of those convicted of federal crimes for their involvement in the attacks.
Former Arkansas governor and 2024 candidate Asa Hutchinson, meanwhile, slammed the idea of a “blanket pardon” in an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Sunday.
“Second, it was a very serious offense that challenged the very foundations of our democracy and attempted to overthrow the election, and so I consider it serious, and any clemency petition is to be treated the same as any other clemency petition that I have considered as governor .” said Hutchinson.
“And that’s what I would do as president, but no blanket pardons, that’s a serious offense.”