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Gov. Asa Hutchinson backs Marco Rubio's presidential bid

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published February 22, 2016 at 1:39 p.m. Updated February 22, 2016 at 2:35 p.m.

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Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson backed Marco Rubio's presidential bid Monday, giving the U.S. senator from Florida his highest-profile endorsement in the state a little more than a week before its Republican primary.

Hutchinson, a former congressman and federal Homeland Security official, had previously backed former Gov. Mike Huckabee's campaign. Huckabee dropped out of the race earlier this month after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

"The more I've watched this election unfold, the more I've come to see that Marco Rubio is the only candidate who can unite our nation the way Ronald Reagan once did," Hutchinson said in a statement released by Rubio's campaign. "Not only is Marco uniquely capable of rallying Americans behind a conservative vision for the future, but he also fully understands what it takes to keep us safe in this dangerous world."

Rubio has been picking up endorsements from the state's top Republicans since Huckabee's exit from the race. Other GOP officials backing him include the state's lieutenant governor, House speaker, Senate president and two of its congressmen. He also has the support of Hutchinson's brother, former U.S. Sen. Tim Hutchinson.

The endorsement came a day after Rubio addressed a crowd of about 2,000 people in Little Rock.

Arkansas is among a dozen states that are holding nominating caucuses or primaries on March 1. State lawmakers voted last year to move up Arkansas' primary from May, part of an effort to create a regional nominating contest supporters have dubbed the "SEC primary."

Several GOP hopefuls have campaigned in the state since the month, including billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz has the backing of several high-profile Republicans in Arkansas, including its secretary of state. Cruz plans to campaign in Arkansas again Sunday.

Republicans control both chambers of the state Legislature as well as all statewide and federal offices in Arkansas.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: Gov. Asa Hutchinson backs Marco Rubio's presidential bid

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 total comments

Jackabbott says... February 22, 2016 at 3:39 p.m.

Well there you have it folks. The clues on how an indie or Dem. can beat this guy and other GOP official flocking to the robo Obama clone. They have freely chosen to support a candidate that is backed by Wall Street bankers and big time money. A guy who is for free trade and the exporting of jobs to China and Mexico without any hindrances. Who sponsored the amnesty bill in the US senate and got it passed before it was halted in the US House. A guy who backs Apple in its fight against the FBI regarding the San Bernadino terrorist killings. A guy who was born to non-citizens, so it not completely clear he can even be president. So if you cannot take these points and run a full throated campaign against them, then you do not belong in politics.
The clock is running on Hutch, most of his first year has been spent reviewing and revising Medicad and the private option and hiring a Gruber clone at a salary of over $200k per year to run it. This is what you would expect of Ross and bb. So economic development and jobs, transportation, public safety and education have pretty much ignored but not reducing prison sentences

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Nodmcm says... February 22, 2016 at 4:04 p.m.

No surprise here, all of the Republican establishment folks are behind Rubio, so he can quit claiming to be an outsider. Note that he was not too quick to accept Romney's endorsement, so Rubio is trying to hide his close ties with the establishment bosses and donors. Expect a George W. Bush-style presidency from Rubio, with absolutely for certain another big war, almost certainly against Iran, if Rubio is elected. Rubio seems to make it pretty clear he is all about the military; I wonder if that is his effort to gain some masculine cred in light of the recent accusations he is gay?

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GrimReaper says... February 22, 2016 at 4:09 p.m.

The 'GOP Establishment' wing of the unified 'Perpetual Incumbency Party' seeking to insure a safe 'PIP' Republican nominee to oppose the safe 'PIP' Democrat nominee. It's heads the 'PIP' wins, and tails the American people lose.......again!

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niceguy says... February 22, 2016 at 4:38 p.m.

No surprise here. Asa is not the conservative he claimed to be but neither are Boozman or Hill. But when it comes time to campaign, you would think they are to the right of Ted Cruz.

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PopulistMom says... February 22, 2016 at 5:07 p.m.

I am disappointed that Asa did not back Kasich. In any event, every reporter in America is now trying to get the story on whether Rubio has had gay liaisons in the past. If he is, Rubio could drop as fast as Gary Hart did after his affair was discovered.

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Dontsufferfools says... February 22, 2016 at 6:10 p.m.

After Rubio's meltdown when Christie merely pointed a finger at him, one wonders if he has the inner fortitude to be president and stand up to intractable people like Putin. He seems like an easy roll to the world's thugs.

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Bob13 says... February 22, 2016 at 6:31 p.m.

It is not Asa's job to endorse candidates within his own party. We will remember your improper actions when you run against another Republican whose primary job is to represent the people rather than play politics.

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dunk7474 says... February 22, 2016 at 6:58 p.m.

Asa is doing only what he is told to do. When your stupid, you must listen to others. Rubio looks and acts like he is in eight grade. Of coarse he is gay.

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mrcharles says... February 25, 2016 at 11:56 a.m.

While have a problem with a bob jones graduate and his ideology [ mostly] and his deep down real deity beliefs, I can assure you he is not stupid. Being a governor required practicality more so that other offices due the nature of the job as he has a limited jurisdiction to work with. So in between puking , I would say , he could be worse - considering our own Jason or that large space inhabiting guy in Hindsville, the Cruz supporter [ now i really have to puke]--- there i have done it, kinda stood up for a repugnant. I feel like saying Romney or McCain are not so bad compared to the brown shirts most here support.

Get over it , the moneyed class owns the country and you all are just machinery to be used till it wears out and be replaced by a robot or by the resulting carbon based life form of that biblical "knowing" that occurs from time to time---- as your former hero, Cosby use to say in his comedy routine to his kids, " I can make another one of you".

DID RR have something to do with amnesty way back then? Or did the deity party issue a new covenant?

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