On Monday, Asas Hutchinson, the anti-Trump governor of Arkansas vetoed a bill that would ban gender-transition surgeries, like chemical castration treatments, for minors in his state.
Thankfully, the Arkansas General Assembly intervened on Tuesday to prevent Hutchinson from carrying out his plan. But to make matters worse, he agreed to appear on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show where he vehemently defended his decision citing his belief in “small government.”
Carlson opened the interview with a direct challenge: “I think of you as a conservative. Here you have come out publicly as pro-choice on the question of chemical castration of children. You vetoed a bill that would have protected children. not adults, children, to whom a different standard applies, from a life-altering, irreversible procedure; not adults, children, to who a different norm applies. They’re too young to have children, but they’re old enough to be chemically castrated. What changed? How exactly does that work?”
Hutchinson tried to argue that the bill, the first of its kind in our country, is “overbroad” and “serious” in nature, and that it does little to fix the “maybe less than 200 kids in Arkansas who are currently on hormone therapy.” Hutchinson also said, “If this had just been a bill prohibiting chemical castration, I would have signed it.”
“Let me emphasize, Tucker, You are a conservative, you have a great background in that. Where are we getting back to the limited role of government, that we don’t have to invoke ourselves in every societal position out there. Let’s limit the role of government, let’s let parents and doctors make decisions,” Hutchinson said.
Tucker, of course, stomped this guy from every angle and crushed his case from every angle. Tucker responded saying, “Then why don’t we allow 18-year-olds to drink beer in Arkansas? Why don’t we allow them to get tattoos? Why don’t we allow 15-year-olds to get married?”
“Whether it’s beer for minors, these are all issues that you have to address in the legislature, you make a judgement call on it,” he argued. “But we also try to restrain ourselves, as conservatives, so that we don’t have to be involved in every issue. And if you want to broaden the party, if you want to get back to principles, then let’s at least think through, in a reasoned way, as to whether this is the right bill to interfere with parents and doctors’ decision on a health care matter.”
Hutchinson explained that his “reasoned” reasoning was an effort to “broaden the party” and “return to the values,” focusing his case on the state intervening in private decisions. Hutchinson is not eligible to run for reelection due to term limits.
Carlson also questioned Hutchinson on whether he had spoken to any corporate interests in Arkansas that affected his decision to veto the bill, which also blocks doctors from administering puberty-blocking hormones to children. Governor Hutchinson bristled at the suggestion and denied that any such considerations entered into the decision.
You can watch the explosive interview below.