Asa Hutchinson has improved with practice from his three previous failed campaigns for statewide office, and has gotten awfully slick at wriggling away from flip-flop charges. His flip on the minimum wage was as egregious as it gets. Hutchinson was flatly opposed to a state wage hike to $8.50 via ballot initiative. He tried some procedural haggling as cover — he might support the minimum wage, he said, but only if it came through the legislature (where of course it was actually doomed to fail) and only if it was up to $7.25. Of course as soon as the initiative made the ballot, Asa flopped. He supported it after all (no wonder, as more than 70 percent of Arkansans support the hike). Flip. Flop.
When Mike Ross noted as much during a recent debate appearance, Hutchinson hammed his way through the afore-mentioned procedural hedging and claimed he’d always supported a wage hike. Did anyone buy it? Hard to reckon from a snoozer of a debate that few watched, but Hutchinson hasn’t thus far taken the heat in this election than he did in 2006, when he famously flip-flopped on the grocery tax.
Ross is noting another Asa flip flop, on pre-k (expanding pre-k was the wrong direction, Hutchinson said this summer; now “we need to expand pre-k,” he said to the Northwest Arkansas Political Animals on Thursday). See the video above, from the Ross campaign. Hutchinson is triangulating away.
A bemused Ross said, “Wow, I knew Congressman Hutchinson had changed his position on the minimum wage, I didn’t know he’d changed it on pre-k too,” to hoots and laughter from the audience.
If the Ross campaign wants this charge to stick on the increasingly slick Hutchinson, my suggestion is they come up with a flip-flopping nickname for him. Perhaps our commenters can help.