After Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson dropped out of the race following his poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, the White House was forced to apologize to the former Arkansas governor over the DNC’s sarcastic news release responding to his exit from the race, NBC News reported.
DNC national press secretary Sarafina Chitka greeted the news of Hutchinson’s departure by saying in a statement that the news came as “a shock to those of us” who swore Hutchinson had already dropped out.
White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients reportedly called Hutchinson the next morning to apologize for Chitka’s statement.
A White House advisor told NBC News that nobody, not even Chitka, would get fired over the tactless statement, explaining that this was the kind of thing that happened during a highly charged presidential election.
Hutchinson, who never caught on in a primary field dominated by Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis, finished in sixth place in Iowa with only 0.2 percent of the vote.
The 73-year-old former governor tried to appeal to Republican primary voters by running a more traditional campaign and positioning himself as a return to civility after the era of Trump.
During the White House press briefing on the Wednesday after the caucus, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the DNC’s statement did not reflect the president’s views.
Jean-Pierre said Biden deeply respected Hutchinson, whom she described as “a man of principle who cares about our country and has a strong record of public service.”
While Hutchinson appreciated Zients’ apology, in an interview, he expressed dismay about the “young staffer” who penned the statement, suggesting that it meant that “future leaders” were being trained to “practice demeaning comments” and ridicule people.
He noted that the problem existed in both parties and asked who was training these young staffers to behave this way. He said the behavior is “not what America expects” and “hurts politics.”