Race for president/ DeSantis-Trump, "war" of words at a distance

2023-06-03 20:27:05, Kosova & Bota CNA

Race for president/ DeSantis-Trump, "war" of words at a distance

In the first full week of his 2024 presidential campaign, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis worked hard to portray himself as a candidate worth supporting, but also to draw boundaries with his strongest opponent within the party, former President Donald Trump.

As he toured 12 cities in three states where the first Republican primary races will be held to determine the party's official nominee, Mr. DeSantis said he is a more conservative and stable alternative to Donald Trump.

The former president responded, marking an unexpected escalation in the long-distance battle between the two Republican frontrunners that not only heightened tensions in the race within the party but also served as a reflection of Mr. DeSantis' initial strategy.

During state meetings in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina this week, the governor emerged as a relentless fighter on issues such as abortion, immigration, government spending, crime and issues related to the rights of the LGBTQ community.

For the first time, Mr. DeSantis began to highlight the stark contrast between himself and Mr. Trump, describing the former president as a politician who had lost his way, and who, thanks to easy compromises, had turned into a 'creature of the government' ', instead of transforming it.

Mr Trump's camp has tried to do the same to Mr DeSantis, calling him a "swamp doll" and downplaying his achievements as Florida governor. In a party where coming from outside politics engenders more support among the masses, both Mr. Trump and Mr. DeSantis do not want to be labeled as insiders.

Mr. DeSantis' three-state campaign aimed to cement the idea among Republicans that he is the biggest threat to Mr. Trump.

He held mostly meetings in small spaces, filled with supportive crowds, but some participants told the Reuters news agency that they had not yet decided who they would vote for.

During his remarks, Mr. DeSantis did not criticize Mr. Trump by name, but said that he himself would be the candidate who would "finally" make the country's southern border secure and that he thought the role of leader was more important than "creating a brand".

But speaking to the media, Mr. DeSantis was less circumspect, suggesting that Mr. Trump, his main rival, had moved to the "left" during his tenure in the White House and that he was no longer the same person. with the one that ran in 2016.

Mr. DeSantis recalled that as governor of Florida he had enacted a long line of conservative reforms.

According to a more recent poll by the agency "Reuters" and the company "Ipsos" conducted in May, Mr. Trump dominates the Republican camp with 49% support, followed by Mr. DeSantis with 19%./ VOA

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