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Tucker Carlson's interview with former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) at the 2023 FAMiLY Leader Summit in Des Moines, Iowa ...
"I believe that God created two genders and that there should not be any confusion on your gender ... but if there is confusion, then parents ought to be the ones who guide the children," former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, doubling down on his April 2021 veto of a bill that would have barred surgery and puberty blockers for children.
He clarified further, saying he would have signed a bill that said only that parents could not consent to transgender surgeries for their minor children, but that the bill in question "interfered with parents" to "manage the most sensitive issue a parent can face."
Carlson, acknowledging the topic was a "sore subject," pressed Hutchinson further, noting that recent research has borne out the permanent, deleterious effects of puberty blockers and hormones that "destroy the child's life."
"Permanent change is one issue, but also, hormonal treatment is a different issue," Hutchinson said, nothing there was no "grandfather clause" in the bill he vetoed.
"Is it treatment to prevent a [prepubescent, 10-year-old] boy [who says he wants to become a girl girl] from going through the natural process of adolescence?" Tucker asked, to audience applause, respectfully challenging Hutchinson's assertion that giving children puberty blockers was "treatment."
"This is one of the biggest issues in the country. ... These are children who are being altered permanetly," Tucker said, when Hutchinson compalined he had hoped to discuss "issues" during the interview.
Tucker's calm, rational insistence on continuing to address the topic and asking Hutchinson to defend his view to the faith-focused audience drew massive applause.
"I don't like the schools pushing transgenderism," Hutchinson said, adding that he did not agree with an Obama-era policy of allowing children to choose which bathroom to use based on the gender they believed themselves to be that day.
Carlson immediately punched back, noting Hutchinson had in fact said children should be able to choose their gender and parents should be able to affirm that by, for example, putting the child on puberty blockers.
Hutchinson attempted to recover by saying he believed schools should inform parents if a child says at school that he or she is transgender.
Carlson and Hutchinson have a history of heated interactions, particularly when it comes to the topic of surgery and puberty blockers for children who believe they are transgender, as TheBlaze reported Thursday.
Hutchinson declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination in April amid an increasingly crowded field, as CNN reported.
"You have repeatedly described delaying a child's natural progression from childhood to adulthood through adolescence as 'treatment,' so ... you believe, I suppose, that people can change their sex, because if you don't believe that, you wouldn't call it treatment, would you?" Carlson asked.
Again, the audience applauded, clearly aligned with Tucker's point of view on the controversial matter.
"Well, God created two genders. ... I don't believe that taxpayers' funds should be used for transgender surgery or treatment through Medicaid or Medicare or in our military," Hutchinson said.
Carlson then moved the discussion to COVID-related mandates, asking the presidential candidate how many COVID shots he had taken.
Hutchinson's initial response was to ask how many COVID shots Carlson had taken, to which Carlson replied, "Zero."
Again, the audience went wild with applause.
Hutchinson said Arkansas had no governmental mandates related to COVID vaccines and had fought the Biden administration in this area, alongside other states, as it related to requirements for National Guard members.
"I made the right decision in taking the vaccine for me, but other people can make a different decision," Hutchinson also said.
Carlson pressed further, saying that "an awful lot of people" had been injured by the vaccine and asking why there is so little conversation about it, again, to audience applause.
Hutchinson defended his record on pandemic-era policies on two fronts — keeping businesses open by calling any job that provided an income for a family "essential business" and keeping schools open when many other states had kept students out of the classroom, forcing kids into virtual learning.
Hutchinson, who was in charge of border security during the Bush administration, said that the number-one issue with respect to the southern border is dealing with the Mexican cartels to declare them foreign terrorist organizations.
Hutchinson said he supports increased funding for border agents, continued building of the wall, investment in tech to help seal the border, and reformation of asylum laws.
As in an interview with Tim Scott earlier in the day, Carlson asked Hutchinson about simply forming a "human wall" at the border with military personnel.
"The military is always an option that might be needed at some point ... but I would like to be able to do it without using the military," Hutchinson said, adding that it is important to show "strength" to China with a presence in the Philippines.
"The military is trained to kill people. They're not trained in traditional law enforcement responsibilities, so it's a different mission."
Carlson continued to press, again to audience applause, asking Hutchinson what could be more important than stopping illegal immigrants of military age flowing across the southern border.
"What's happening in the Philippines? I'm not mocking you, but what is happening in the Philippines is more important than [protecting the southern border with a military presence?]" Tucker said incredulously.
Hutchinson countered, saying the Philippines is close to Taiwan, so it is important to have bases there.
Hutchinson took aim at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump Monday after the former president attacked Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) for choosing to remain neutral. Reynolds also spoke at the Summit.
"No one should be attacked for declining to endorse a politician. That behavior is dictatorial. I applaud @KimReynoldsIA for welcoming all GOP candidates into Iowa. America deserves better than Donald Trump," Hutchinson tweeted, in part, in advance of the Summit.
Other presidential hopeful interviewees at 2023 “Principle over Politics” FAMiLY Leader Summit at Des Moines' Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center include Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former Amb. Nikki Haley.
Watch BlazeMedia’s live coverage of the sold-out Summit below, and be sure to stick around for Glenn Beck's interview with Tucker Carlson exclusively on BlazeTV at the conclusion of the Summit.
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