In Iowa, DeSantis poses as a Republican alternative to Trump

Ideas, but not excesses

In Iowa, DeSantis poses as a Republican alternative to Trump

Ideas, but not excesses. Republican Ron DeSantis kicked off his campaign for the US presidency in Iowa on Tuesday, presenting himself as the best alternative to Donald Trump in 2024.

“Being a leader is not about entertainment,” said the 44-year-old governor from this Midwestern state. "It's about producing results".

Without ever naming it? at the risk of offending the large voter base of the septuagenarian ex-president? the Republican called for the country to be led by someone "energetic", who can govern for "two terms".

What Donald Trump, already president between 2017 and 2021, could not do, under the American Constitution.

Ron DeSantis has chosen to kick off his campaign from Iowa, this small state in the Midwest essential for any contender for the supreme office in the United States.

Voters in the state are the first to vote in the Republican primaries, guaranteeing valuable momentum for whoever wins to face the Democratic nominee in 2024? most likely current President Joe Biden.

The governor of Florida had arranged to meet his supporters in an evangelical church with a gigantic portrait of Jesus Christ -- a large building surrounded by car dealerships.

A barely veiled appeal to the religious electorate, reputed to be very conservative, whom Donald Trump was able to seduce in 2016 and whom this Catholic, embarked on a crusade against "good thinking", is now trying to conquer.

All evening long, Ron DeSantis did Trump in his own way, replaying several scores well known to the billionaire.

Starting by calling for "America's great comeback", his campaign slogan which obviously evokes that of Donald Trump's victorious campaign in 2016: "Make America Great Again".

Notes that resonated with the crowd, made up mostly of former supporters of Donald Trump, anxious to find a potential alternative to the ex-president, recently charged.

"He has too many pans, so I would like to see someone else instead," Kathy Leinenkugel, a 67-year-old epidemiologist, told AFP.

"We don't know what's going to happen with all his stuff so we want to keep our options open," said Martha Burch, a smiling retiree.

In the conservative of Florida, this woman sees someone "presidential", who "loves America".

The polls, which show Donald Trump well ahead in a head-to-head with Ron DeSantis? "I don't give them any credibility," sweeps away her husband, Bill. The campaign is still so long … he pleads.

Probably seeking to reduce this gap in the opinion polls, the governor of Florida spoke at length on campaign themes dear to fans of the former president.

He denounced in turn a supposedly out of control immigration, "criminals wandering the streets" and accused the media of spreading "lies". And received hearty ovations each time.

Speaking to the press moments later, Ron DeSantis finally attacked Donald Trump more head-on, mocking the litany of posts on his network, Truth Social, about debt like Covid.

And to promise: "I will return the blows."

31/05/2023 07:13:48 - Clive (United States) (AFP) - © 2023 AFP