Ron DeSantis’ path to the White House had the most unusual start in memory in the history of his party’s primaries. The 44-year-old Republican not only opted for an audio interview on Twitter with an amateur on the subject, the South African Elon Musk, but he himself suffered the side effects of the experiment. The technical failures continued for more than 20 minutes and the Florida governor was unable to utter a word in that period of time, being the subject of a cascade of ridicule. Of course, he managed to leave in the background a catastrophic message about the state of the nation with which he intends to defeat Donald Trump in the primaries.

DeSantis, who has earned a reputation as an iron man around his conservative and Catholic values, spoke of the “Florida model,” which he has implemented in his more than four years in office. “Rebuilding this ship requires restoring sanity to our society, normalcy to our communities, and integrity to our institutions. Truth must be our foundation. And common sense can no longer be a rare virtue. In Florida, we show that it is possible “He said through a video that was distributed exclusively by Fox News and that DeSantis himself was in charge of retweeting.

The former congressman who swept his re-election bid in 2022 assures that his are facts and not words. He boasts of having managed to reverse the state deficit and turn it into a surplus based on cuts and of opposing the restrictions imposed by Covid in the rest of the country and in much of the planet. It was there that DeSantis became known nationally. He resisted imposing the mandatory use of masks and was lax when it came to forcing citizens to stay home, to close businesses and to impose vaccination at the state level.

In addition to taxing companies to combat global warming, he does not believe in restrictions on the possession and sale of weapons, he has done everything in his power to persecute and expel undocumented immigrants from Florida, and he is a staunch opponent of abortion rights. In April he signed the law that limits the interruption of pregnancies until the sixth week of gestation.

Also famous was his refusal to allow the discussion of sexual orientation in schools among children from 5 to 9 years old. The law dubbed “Don’t say gay” has been one of the thorniest chapters of his mandate, as was the ban on transgender girls and women from participating in school competitions. Disney, which has operated theme parks in Orlando for decades, launched a proxy and legal battle against the governor over the lingering HB1557 law.

For all that record, he is considered the strongest candidate to defeat the former Republican president in the party’s primaries. “Trump is not as invincible as he seemed and DeSantis is a serious contender,” Mike Murphy, a veteran Republican strategist, told The New York Times. “There are Republican voters who are looking for someone who can go beyond Trump, someone who can fight the liberals but also win the election. That’s the space that DeSantis is trying to inhabit.”

That is where an important part of his comeback options will pass in the polls, which at the moment is very uphill. DeSantis must distance himself from Trump as much as he can so that the electorate perceives him as a viable and less incendiary alternative to the New York tycoon, according to analysts. For the moment he has not only criticized the traditional media, as Trump did ad nauseam during his presidency, but he has distanced himself from them by betting on Twitter to launch his candidacy. Although it turned out to be a fiasco, with silences, interruptions and technical problems for 25 minutes, it is an attempt to capture a different style from the rest. Ultraconservative, but different.

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