DeSantis gives up and leaves Haley alone against Trump

With less than 48 hours until the New Hampshire primary, Republican candidate Ron DeSantis has withdrawn from his party's primary. The governor of Florida, who came second in the Iowa caucuses, did not have many chances this Tuesday and on Sunday announced to the world the end of his presidential dream through a video that he published on the social network X. “While this campaign is over, the mission continues.”. On the same broadcast, the Florida governor reiterated his support for his biggest political rival to date, Donald Trump.

“Although I had disagreements with the former president “over the coronavirus pandemic and his appointment of Anthony Fauci, Trump is superior to current incumbent Joe Biden. That's clear.” The reaction was immediate and was one of the first to appear. The former governor of South Carolina knew Nikki Haley“We just found out that Ron DeSantis has withdrawn from the race,” the candidate said as she arrived at a campaign event in Seabrook, New Hampshire, on Sunday. “Now there’s a fight between a boy and a woman,” she said, referring to the Republican primary .

Polls gave DeSantis just 6% of the vote in tomorrow's primary, and in South Carolina his results weren't much more promising, with 9% support. That is why the Floridian decided on Sunday to put an end to a presidential campaign that began really promising and was gradually deflated by Trump's constant attacks and ridicule, which have degraded his image as a strong fighter until he became an insecure candidate with little strength .

The recently retired candidate, 45, was seen by many as the great option for Trump, the most realistic rival after DeSantis' crushing win for governor in the Sunshine State. But he has failed to win over independent voters who see Trump as a histrionic candidate with his manners and who is a very important voter to defeat the former president he will now support.

Perhaps this change in strategy is the announcement of an alliance between the two politicians, with DeSantis becoming the former president's ticket partner, but it is too early to speculate on that. The decision came after several long conversations with his donors, who no longer saw any reason to continue supporting the candidate after the weak results in Iowa. “The money wasn’t there to continue,” one of the donors told US broadcaster CNN. His departure only leaves the electoral board in existence two participants: Nikki Haley and Donald Trumpwith the second winning all the polls and consolidating his victory in the country's first primaries.

At 77, Trump has always boasted about being in perfect physical and mental shape. In fact, the former president often mocked President Joe Biden, 81, for his mental failings in public. But this weekend Trump himself seems to have lost his bearings. During a campaign event in New Hampshire, the Republican incorrectly referred to his primary rival Nikki Haley rather than former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing her of failing to prevent the attack on the Capitol in January 2021. About “Nikki Haley,” he said to his staunch followers, “Do you know that they destroyed all the information, all the evidence, and deleted everything? As with many other things, Nikki Haley was responsible for security. We offered them 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guard, whatever they wanted, they refused. They don't want to talk about it. “They are very dishonest people.” Haley (52) was US ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump presidency.

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The former South Carolina governor and current Republican candidate immediately took advantage of the situation and, in an interview with American broadcaster Fox News, tried to question Trump's mental ability to do a good job if he returns to the White House. Haley tried to sow doubt among her voters by assuring that the former president may not be as strong as he was in the last election in 2016 and it is not so clear whether he can withstand the pressure of a four-term presidency. “We need people who are at their best,” the Republican candidate said. “I'm not saying this is a Joe Biden-like situation, but I am saying: Are we really going to have two octogenarians running for president?” This was one of her campaign's key claims over the weekend, highlighting the age difference with Trump, who is 25 years older than her. In addition, mental competency tests are still required for all politicians over 75 years old.

It's not the first mistake Trump has made, but so far he's been able to justify it and come out of it with flying colors. For example, when he said that he sometimes exchanged names between Biden and his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, he asserts that he does so “sarcastically,” “as an indication that in reality others may have a very large influence on the administration . “our country” and insinuated that Obama was the one who guided the American president in his decisions. This time it was a member of Trump's campaign team who tried to justify his boss via the social network According to one of NBC News' most recent polls on the ages of presidential candidates, nearly 74% of respondents said they were concerned that Biden, at age 81, “does not have the physical and mental health necessary to be president.” be”. for a second term.” », and about 47% expressed similar concerns about Trump's age.

What is clear is that it will be a tough election campaign for the tycoon, full of court appearances in which Trump will have to spend a lot of time flying through the sky to reach all the trials, while at the same time continuing his campaign in crucial states. In fact, he is scheduled to testify voluntarily this Monday in the libel trial of writer E. Jean Carroll in federal court in Lower Manhattan. His plaintiff is demanding $10 million from the nine-member jury for damages caused by Trump's verbal attacks. Once his court date in New York is over, he is expected to travel to New Hampshire, where the state's primary election is taking place tomorrow. It's the second big litmus test for the Republican candidates and potentially another opportunity for Trump to establish himself as a big favorite among voters.

Currently, the polls are once again pointing to him as the big winner (53% approval), but this time Haley (36%) is very close to him by a difference of 17 percentage points. For this reason, the candidate is betting heavily on this state with constant events and meetings with voters. Since the start of 2023, Haley and his team have spent approximately $28.6 million on advertising in New Hampshire. A victory there would give him an important boost for the primaries in the rest of the country.

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