Monday marks the beginning of the 2020 Republican National Convention, with the first night’s agenda including the state roll call to nominate President Donald Trump for re-election.
This year’s convention, similar to the Democratic National Convention, will be mostly digital due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who spoke during the 2016 RNC, said Monday on NPR’s Morning Edition that his statements about then-candidate Trump being "transparent and straight-talking" remain true.
"That’s what people like about Donald Trump is you don’t have to listen very long to know exactly what he’s thinking and where he is. That has been a very positive thing with the American people, but it’s also been distracting because when you say exactly what’s on your mind, it’s not through a filter necessarily," Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said Trump speaking in a “stream of consciousness” style is at times a negative, saying a president needs to “think through what he says” due to the power of the office Trump currently holds. However, Hutchinson said he supports Trump for other reasons.
"I think that you have to be somewhat constrained, but the reason I… support Donald Trump is not because he speaks in an unfiltered way, but because of what his team and what they’ve accomplished over the last four years and he’ll be a difference for the next four years," Hutchinson said.
On Sunday, the RNC issued a statement that it would not adopt a new policy platform for 2020, instead choosing to “continue to enthusiastically suppose the President’s America-first agenda.” Hutchinson says he does not have an issue with this decision from the RNC.
"Trump’s up for re-election and so the fact that he has the same platform [that he had] four years ago, I think that’s more than fine," Hutchinson said.
However, as far as Trump’s vision for his second term, if elected, Hutchinson said Trump needs to articulate those goals during this week’s convention.
"That’s what he needs to accomplish this week, both to show the differences between him and the Democratic leadership and Joe Biden as president and the direction that he [Trump] will take this country. I think we understand it based upon his performance over the past four years, but he needs to fill in the blank. He needs to paint that vision and I think that’ll be one of the strategies with this week," Hutchinson said.
Trump will give his speech accepting the Republican nomination on Thursday. Also slated to speak on Thursday is Arkansas U.S. Senator Tom Cotton.