The White House has issued an apology to former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson after the Democratic National Committee issued a sarcastic response to Hutchinson's suspension of his presidential campaign earlier this week.
President Joe Biden issued his apology via White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a Wednesday press conference.
"The President has deep respect for Governor Hutchinson, and admires the race that he ran," Jean-Pierre said. "The President knows him to be a man of principle who cares about our country and has a strong record of public service."
Jean-Pierre said Jeffrey Zients, the President's chief of staff, called Hutchinson Wednesday morning to "convey" his apology for the DNC's statement that "did not represent [Biden's] views."
One reporter asked if an action was taken or communicated to the DNC for their statement, to which the press secretary said she couldn't speak to that.
The DNC's remark was delivered in a Tuesday statement by committee's National Press Secretary Sarafina Chitika.
"This news comes as a shock to those of us who could've sworn he had already dropped out," wrote Chitika. The Washington Post's Aaron Blake noted Chitika's statement on Hutchinson was "rather gratuitous?"
The DNC received scrutiny for Chitika's statement.
Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh said the DNC's statement should have thanked Hutchinson for running against former President Donald Trump this election cycle.
"Hey DNC, this is a s---y thing to say," he wrote. "Asa Hutchinson should be thanked by you all for running AGAINST Trump."
"You do want all of us NeverTrumpers to vote for Biden, don't you?" Walsh added. "Come on DNC, be better than this."
Fellow former Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger similarly said Chitika's statement was "dumb and stupid."
“I assume you guys want the support in November of that slice of Republicans who admire Asa for being a decent and principled person, and for not bending the knee to [former President Donald] Trump?" asked editor-at-large of The Bulwark Bill Kristol. "Or is Biden so far ahead that you don’t need every potential crossover vote?”
Political scholar Norman Ornstein similarly said the DNC should have praised Hutchinson for opposing the former President.
Hutchinson suspended his presidential campaign on Tuesday after taking sixth place in the Iowa caucus with 191 out of roughly 110,000 votes cast in the state.
“I am suspending my campaign for President and driving back to Arkansas,” the 74-year-old said in a statement, per Fox News. “My message of being a principled Republican with experience and telling the truth about the current front runner did not sell in Iowa.”
“I stand by the campaign I ran,” Hutchinson continued. “I answered every question, sounded the warning to the GOP about the risks in 2024 and presented hope for our country’s future.”