A 2024 Republican presidential candidate along with another GOP official considering a White House bid distanced themselves from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who says he is considering pardons for Jan. 6 rioters.
DeSantis, on Thursday, commented that he would consider pardons for those involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on his first day in office.
“I will have folks that will get together and look at all these cases … people [who] are victims of weaponization or political targeting, and we will be aggressive at issuing pardons,” he said.
Over 500 people have pleaded guilty – and more than 400 have been sentenced – for crimes related to the Jan. 6 attack, committed by Donald Trump supporters attempting to block the certification of the 2020 election.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who is up in the air over running for president in 2024, told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the idea is “nothing” he would do before saying that his potential challenger’s remarks are “not disqualifying.”
“Nothing I would do, of course, but not disqualifying. Look, I think in this day and age, there’s nothing disqualifying for any candidate, unfortunately,” Sununu said on Sunday.
“We’ve seen hyperbole on both sides, we’ve seen extremes on both sides. So when we say that one issue will drive the candidate out of the race. Back in 1996 maybe something like that was the case but it’s bizarre how single issues don’t drive and don’t cancel out any candidate anymore.”
He went on to criticize fellow Republicans for focusing on “all these things from the past” including the Capitol riot before asserting that the party should focus on the future.
The discussion around potential pardons comes after Trump, in a CNN town hall earlier this month, vowed to pardon a “large portion” of those convicted of federal offenses for their role in the attacks.
Former Arkansas Gov. and 2024 candidate Asa Hutchinson, meanwhile, slammed the idea of “blanket pardons” during an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart on Sunday.
“Secondly, it was a very serious offense, challenging the fundamentals of our democracy and attempt to overturn the election, and so I view it as seriously, and any pardon application be viewed just like any other pardon application that I viewed as governor,” Hutchinson said.
“And I would do that as president but no blanket pardons, it’s a serious offense.”