Republican Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy for the White House on Wednesday, but Donald Trump's rival's campaign launch turned into a fiasco, plagued by major technical problems.
The candidacy of the governor of Florida was highly anticipated by Republicans seeking an alternative to the former American president, whose ideas he shares, but not the excesses.
It was made official on Wednesday afternoon.
In a video posted on Twitter, the forties, perceived as the main Republican challenger to the New York billionaire, promised to "lead America's great comeback". An expression that evokes the flagship slogan of Donald Trump's victorious campaign in 2016: "Make America Great Again".
The governor was then to pour out more in detail on his candidacy during an exchange with Elon Musk on Twitter. But serious technical problems disrupted the flow of the show, listened to by hundreds of thousands of users.
"Thank you for your patience", "your microphone is not open"... the boss of Twitter has tried somehow to manage this chaotic situation.
The governor has tried to unfold his vision for the country, always taking Florida as an example, which he has transformed into a laboratory of conservative ideas.
"I am committed to being an energetic leader who will tackle important issues," he promised, emphasizing migration issues in particular.
But his message seemed parasitized by the series of bugs around this launch, which also made the cabbage of Donald Trump.
"Technical problems. Awkward silences. A total failure," a spokesman for the former president told AFP.
The winner of the Republican primaries will face in November 2024 the candidate chosen by the Democratic Party -- most likely Joe Biden.
The octogenarian leader was also quick to mock Ron DeSantis' campaign launch. "This link works," quipped the president-candidate in a Twitter post redirecting to his fundraising campaign.
Former naval officer, Ron DeSantis had gained popularity by multiplying the blows of ultraconservatives on education or immigration in the name of a battle against the supposed "well-thinking".
But his path to the White House is strewn with pitfalls.
Many conservatives pinned their hopes on his candidacy after his triumphant re-election as head of Florida in November 2022 -- a time when Donald Trump seemed to be losing ground. But the governor is now seriously behind the former president according to numerous opinion polls.
Polls which must be taken with tweezers, as the ballot is still far away, but which Donald Trump shared with joy on Wednesday on his network, Truth Social.
The main handicap of the Florida conservative, father of three children: a lack of charisma, pointed out from all sides. And on which the Trump camp does not hesitate to attack it.
The invectives between the two men began even before the governor of Florida launched himself, with acid statements and meetings interposed.
Surrounded by judicial investigations, Donald Trump threw himself headlong into his third race for the White House, mobilizing his base, which has largely remained loyal to him.
In this face-to-face Ron DeSantis will still be able to rely on an imposing war chest.
His team also announced that he had raised a million dollars during the first hour of his campaign.
Elected to head Florida in 2018, with the support of … Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis claims to embody the new guard.
The other declared Republican candidates - Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Asa Hutchinson - rarely exceed 5% of voting intentions for the moment.
25/05/2023 02:48:03 - Washington (AFP) - © 2023 AFP