White House chief of staff Jeff Zients called former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) to apologize for a Democratic National Committee (DNC) statement that mocked the end of Hutchinson’s 2024 presidential campaign.
“President Biden has deep respect for Gov. Hutchinson and admires the race he ran,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, adding Biden knows Hutchinson is a “man of principles.”
Zients called Hutchinson on Wednesday to convey that message, she said.
Hutchinson announced after a sixth-place finish in Monday’s Iowa caucuses that he was ending his presidential campaign. The former Arkansas governor failed to gain traction in a field dominated by former President Trump.
“This news comes as a shock to those of us who could’ve sworn he had already dropped out,” a DNC spokesperson said in response to the news.
Hutchinson, who left the governor’s mansion in 2023, had worked with the Biden White House on the coronavirus pandemic response and had been critical of some of Trump’s rhetoric.