Republican Ron DeSantis announces Wednesday his candidacy for the US presidency through a Twitter conversation with Elon Musk, launching his battle, which is expected to be fierce against Donald Trump.

The conversation between the 44-year-old Florida governor and the head of the social network is scheduled to take place at 18:00 Washington time (22:00 GMT) and will be moderated by Republican businessman David Sachs.

Republicans are eagerly awaiting DeSantis’s candidacy as they look for an alternative to the 76-year-old former US president who shares his ideas but not his excesses.

The choice of this format to launch the campaign is unusual.

Elon Musk expressed his satisfaction with this option.

“It’s the first time we will experience something of this kind on a social network,” he said.

He promised a “non-scripted, real-time question-and-answer conversation”.

However, the billionaire, known for his vague political stances, made it clear that this conversation shouldn’t be considered sponsorship.

The Florida governor is Donald Trump’s main challenger for the Republican nomination.

The winner of this November 2024 primaries will run against the candidate chosen by the Democratic Party, most likely Joe Biden.

DeSantis gained popularity by taking ultra-conservative stances on education or immigration.

In addition, he has turned his state into a laboratory for conservative ideas in the name of the fight against what he considers “alleged common sense”.

However, his path to the White House is full of obstacles.

The governor, in whom a large number of conservatives put their hopes in the presidential elections after his re-election in Florida in November 2022, is ahead of him, by a large margin, Donald Trump, who has been officially nominated since November 16, 2022, according to a number of opinion polls.

Presumably, these opinion polls should be viewed with caution because the polls are still far away.

But Donald Trump hastened to publish its results on his social network on Tuesday, since the first rumors that Ron DeSantis had announced his candidacy.

The main obstacle for this father of three children is that he does not have charisma, which is indicated by all parties, and the Trump camp doesn’t hesitate to attack him.

“Announcing his candidacy on Twitter totally applies to his personality,” one of Donald Trump’s advisers told AFP sarcastically, because “that way he doesn’t need to interact with anyone”.

The exchange of barbs between the two men began long before the Florida governor officially announced his candidacy.

“The problem with DeSantis is that he will need a personal transplant,” Trump wrote on his TruthSocial, social network

Trump, mired in judicial investigations, quickly launched his second race to the White House and rallied his base, which remained largely loyal to him.

In this confrontation with Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis can count on a huge budget for his battle of $110 million.

He intends to rely on this money to try to reduce the difference between him and his opponent by flooding the country with advertisements.

In a video recently released by his political action committee, a man puts a sticker that reads “DeSantis President” over one that reads “Trump 2016” on a car.

This is a summary of the message that the governor wants to send to the voters, according to which DeSantis, who was elected governor of Florida in 2018, with the support of Donald Trump, has become the embodiment of the “new guard”.

Currently, the voting intentions of the other declared Republican candidates – Nikki Haley, Tim Scott and Asa Hutchinson – rarely exceed 5%.

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