The White House apologized Wednesday to former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson after the Democratic National Committee mocked his recently suspended Republican presidential campaign.
White House Press Secretary Karen Gunn said: “President Biden has deep respect for Governor Hutchinson and admires the race he ran. The President knows him as a man of principle who cares about our country and has a strong record of public service.” Pierre told reporters on Wednesday.
“This morning, the chief of staff here, Jeff Zients, called the governor to inform him of that and apologized for the statement that does not represent the views of the president. So again, as I just mentioned, Jeff Zients called the governor to apologize on behalf of the president, and it does not reflect his views.”
The apology came after the Democratic National Committee mocked Hutchinson after he suspended his campaign after finishing sixth in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, receiving fewer than 200 votes in the contest, behind little-known Ryan Binkley. Former President Donald Trump won by nearly 30 points over his closest competitor and received more than 50% of the votes.
“This news comes as a shock to those of us who could have sworn he had already dropped out,” NDP national press secretary Sarafina Chitica said in a statement Tuesday.
Chitika did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News about Jean-Pierre’s statements.
Hutchinson told ABC News he appreciated Zients’ call.
“I am grateful that so many in both parties have rejected this kind of ridicule as unnecessary and insulting to everyone in the public square. From my perspective, this is all very simple but both parties need to rise above the pettiness and focus on the things that matter to us Americans,” he said. In a statement.
Hutchinson, who has a long political career, including serving as the first director of the Drug Enforcement Administration and years in the House of Representatives before being elected governor of Arkansas to two terms through 2023, ran in 2024 on a traditionally conservative platform.
He has been one of the few Republican candidates to publicly criticize Trump, including saying that Trump should not become president again if he is ultimately convicted of a crime. (Trump denies any wrongdoing.)
“My message of being a principled, experienced Republican and telling the truth about the current front-runner was not accepted in Iowa,” he said in a statement on Tuesday when he announced his withdrawal from the race. “I stand by my campaign. I answered every question, warned the Republican Party about the dangers in 2024 and offered hope for our country’s future.”
“[My wife] “Susan and I are incredibly fortunate, and we are grateful for the opportunity to fight in America’s political arena,” Hutchinson said.
ABC News’ Libby Cathy contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com