Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis will kick off his presidential campaign next week, following his Twitter candidacy announcement.
DeSantis will deliver speeches and conduct fireside chats in three states—New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina. The campaign will last for four days between May 30 and June 2, covering 12 cities and towns. The candidate will kick off the campaign in Iowa and end it in South Carolina. “Our campaign is committed to putting in the time to win these early nominating states,” said campaign manager Generra Peck, according to Reuters. “No one will work harder than Gov. DeSantis to share his vision with the country—he has only begun to fight.”
This will be DeSantis’ first series of public campaign events after announcing his candidature in the 2024 presidential race on Wednesday.
In a short video posted to Twitter just minutes before his conversation with Elon Musk, DeSantis highlighted several failures of the Biden administration while promising to bring about a “great American comeback.”
“Our border is a disaster, crime infests our cities, federal government makes it harder for families to make ends meet, and the president flounders. But decline is a choice. Success is attainable, and freedom is worth fighting for … We need the courage to lead and the strength to win,” he said. DeSantis’ campaign is said to have raised $1 million within an hour of his announcement.
With DeSantis’ formal announcement, he becomes the seventh Republican to officially enter the 2024 presidential race.
In addition to Trump, the five other candidates are Sen. Tim Scott from South Carolina, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, and author Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis’ biggest challenge in the Republican primary would be former President Donald Trump. Multiple polls have shown Trump having a massive lead over DeSantis.
A Quinnipiac University poll published on May 24 found that Trump commanded 56 percent support from Republicans and Republican-leaning voters, with DeSantis only garnering 25 percent support. Other candidates only got support in single digits.
A recent poll by the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) found that even in Florida, where DeSantis is the governor, Trump has a notable lead. While 59 percent of registered Republican voters said they would choose Trump in the upcoming primary, DeSantis only received 31 percent support.
“Former President Trump continues to be a strong candidate for the Republican nomination and his support appears durable and consistent,” said Kevin Wagner, Ph.D., professor of political science at FAU.
DeSantis insists that he can defeat Trump in the primaries. “I won 97 percent of Republicans in my reelection,” DeSantis said in a phone-in press conference with a few news organizations, including The Epoch Times, on May 24, just a few hours after declaring his candidacy on Twitter.
“We are acceptable to the broad swath. It’s not like I’m taking policy positions that are alienating massive segments of Republicans. And so people are going to see somebody who’s got a proven record of success, who’s representing the values that the vast, vast majority of our party professes to hold.”
DeSantis’ Twitter announcement botch-up was mocked by his political opponents. “This link works,” President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter while sharing a link to the donation page of his campaign at the time when DeSantis’ team and Musk were struggling to get the Twitter glitches sorted out.
Donald Trump Jr. posted “#DeSaster” on Twitter, after which the hashtag began trending. Trump also joined in to mock the announcement. “Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH,” he said in a May 25 post at Truth Social.
In a post on twitter, Karoline Leavitt, spokeswoman a Trump-aligned PAC, said that DeSantis’ announcement glitch is an example of “why he is just not ready for the job.”
“The stakes are too high, and the fight to save America is too critical to gamble on a first-timer who is clearly not ready for prime time. President Trump is the proven leader that will be ready on day one to turn the country around.”