Saturday, 10 June 2023


DeSantis to stump in early voting states after rocky presidential launch By Reuters

DeSantis to stump in early voting states after rocky presidential launch

© Reuters. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks as he announces he is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in this screen grab from a social media video posted May 24, 2023. Twitter @RonDeSantis/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

By James Oliphant and Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ fledgling presidential campaign was looking to push forward on Thursday after a troubled online launch event drew mockery from his rivals and renewed doubts about his viability as a national candidate.

DeSantis plans to barnstorm the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina next week in his first series of public events since joining the 2024 race for the Republican nomination on Wednesday.

The Florida governor will make speeches and hold chats in a four-day swing across 12 cities and towns from May 30 to June 2, his campaign said.

A “campaign kickoff” event will be held on Tuesday in Iowa, a state that may be critical to his presidential hopes. Its sizeable evangelical voting bloc at times has been cool on former Republican President Donald Trump, helping to hand him a defeat in 2016 in party caucuses.

“Our campaign is committed to putting in the time to win these early nominating states,” said DeSantis campaign manager Generra Peck. “No one will work harder than Governor DeSantis to share his vision with the country.”

DeSantis’ campaign was working in the meantime to try and put his glitch-marred launch event with billionaire Elon Musk on Twitter in the best light possible. The much-hyped forum featuring Musk, Twitter’s owner, and others was beset with audio and connection woes.

In a radio interview on Thursday with conservative commentator Erick Erickson, DeSantis said the livestream of the event had now drawn more than five million listeners and that it had succeeded in creating “buzz” around his candidacy.

“I think it was the biggest story in the world yesterday, and so hopefully, we’ll get some people interested in our campaign who may not have been otherwise,” DeSantis said.

His campaign said he raised $1 million within an hour of his presidential announcement. DeSantis spent much of Thursday doing interviews with media in the early voting states.

As governor, DeSantis has signed a number of state bills targeting reproductive rights and teachers unions and imposing restrictions on immigrants lacking permanent legal status, LGBTQ expression, diversity and equity programs in schools, and…

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