Asa Hutchinson, Tilting at a Trump-Branded Windmill, Hangs On

Asa Hutchinson sat under the fluorescent lights of a windowless conference room just off the main convention hall at the Prairie Meadows Casino and Hotel in Altoona, Iowa, on Thursday, explaining why there was a mission to the madness of his 2024 campaign for the presidency.

Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey had dropped out of the race the day before, following other big names to the exits like Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as not-so-big names like the governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, and a conservative commentator, Larry Elder.

But as Mr. Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas, awaited his turn to speak at a summit on renewable fuels, he said he only found more motivation in those other departures.

“My voice makes a difference,” he said. “I am the only one campaigning for president in Iowa that has said I’m not going to promise a pardon to Donald Trump. And if my voice is not there, then no one hears the alternative view.”

“How in the world are you going to beat Donald Trump,” he added, “if somebody is not out there sounding the alarm that we can all go down in flames if we have the wrong nominee?”

At a renewable fuels summit in Altoona, Iowa, on Thursday, Mr. Hutchinson addressed a crowd to much less fanfare than his competitors, who spoke earlier in the day.Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

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