‘Trump is dividing our party’: GOP governor dares to cross former president

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<p>Gov. Asa Hutchinson has spoken about former President Donald Trump ‘dividing’ the GOP</p> (CNN/New Day)

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has spoken about former President Donald Trump ‘dividing’ the GOP

(CNN/New Day)

A Republican governor has dared to speak out against former president Trump, claiming the former commander-in-chief who still has a stranglehold over the GOP is “dividing our party”.

Speaking to John Berman on CNN’s New Day on Tuesday, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson urged his party to drop its fealty to Mr Trump.

“Whenever we do not have the President in power from our party, you have divided leadership, many different voices, and former President Trump dividing our party, and so it’s important that we not unite with someone who is dividing our party,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Mr Hutchinson is unable to run for another term as governor, which gives the Republican a bit more runway to cross Mr Trump.

In recent weeks, top Republicans have pushed to remove Rep Liz Cheney, a notable Trump critic who voted to impeach Mr Trump after the insurrection on 6 January, from her position of chairman of the Republican conference.

Mr Trump has published several posts on his new makeshift blog calling for Ms Cheney’s ouster and the appointment of loyalist Rep Elise Stefanik.

“The House GOP has a massive opportunity to upgrade this week from warmonger Liz Cheney to gifted communicator Elise Stefanik,” he said.

Instead of concerning themselves over petty leadership spats, Mr Hutchinson proposed that the Republican party “talk about those ideas, lets, talk about the future, let's talk about the Biden administration, that’s what builds our party, that’s what brings people together, and that has to be our focus.

“I don’t believe that Liz Cheney should be ousted for a vote of conscious. I believe we need to concentrate on things that unite us together than to separate us.”

Since January, there has been a clear divide within the Republican party following Mr Trump’s second impeachment. It has reached a boiling point with calls to remove Ms Cheney as the most senior woman within the GOP and replace her with Ms Stefanik, a move supported by Rep Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House Republicans.

“We have got to respond to the people that like Trump. We have got to respond and identify with the issues that gave him in the first election and gave him support throughout his presidency... but we have got to handle it in a different way with different personalities,” Mr Hutchinson said.

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