Gov. Hutchinson: Meeting with Trump ‘substantive’

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 172 views 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson characterized his meeting with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump today at Trump Tower in New York as “a substantive discussion.”

In a statement released from his office, Hutchinson said, “It was helpful to be in a private meeting with Mr. Trump. This is my first opportunity to have a substantive discussion with him, and while we have differences in style and, in some cases, policy, we agree on the importance of this election. As for the meeting itself, a broad range of issues were discussed, including the political landscape in Arkansas and, of course, our nation’s response to the most recent acts of terrorism.”

CBS News reported today that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, and Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant also were confirmed to meet with Trump, while Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also were expected to meet with him. It’s unclear if Hutchinson met alone with Trump or as part of a group.

Bryant told Mississippi news outlets that he and the other governors who met with Trump today “would serve as surrogates for the Trump campaign in their home states and would represent Trump at various campaign events,” according to

Hutchinson on Feb. 22 endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president, but Trump won the May 1 Arkansas primary.

Hutchinson said he would support his party’s nominee in May after Trump’s last remaining rivals left the race. But his support of Trump has been lukewarm. After Trump said a Mexican-American judge could not oversee a lawsuit fairly against Trump University partly because his parents are from Mexico, Hutchinson said in a statement from his office, “Criticizing and trying to disqualify a judge because of the judge’s ethnic heritage is antithetical to everything that is true and good about America,” according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

He also said, “I must say from a personal standpoint that I have a daughter-in-law who is of Mexican heritage. She is a U.S. citizen and loves America. She should be valued because of who she is as a person and not judged because of where she was born.”

Speaking to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” Hutchinson said of Trump, “I do not see his discussion of issues as serious. The words are frightening – how you’re going to build a wall, how you’re going to have Mexico pay for it. What does this mean? Let’s be realistic in our discussions and how we discuss these issues with the American people.”