Washington, June 23 The main candidates for the Republican presidential primaries sought this Friday to attract the vote of the evangelical Christian base by declaring total war on abortion during an event in Washington, where the overwhelming support for the two favorites, Ron Desantis and Donald Trump, was evident, although this the latter was not even present.
On this day and on Saturday, most of the Republican candidates meet for the first time on the same stage, albeit individually, at the “Road to Majority” conference, organized by the evangelical organization Faith and Freedom (faith and freedom).
This Friday it was the turn of candidates such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Senator Tim Scott and former governors Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson, while Trump and the former ambassador to the UN and the only woman to have applied, Nikki Haley, are expected tomorrow.
If the intention to vote were measured by the biggest ovations, DeSantis and Trump would be the undisputed favorites to win the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential elections, although the former president had the merit of not being there and the applause for his figure arose when the “number two” of the governorship of North Carolina, Mark Robinson, announced that he supports him as a candidate.
In the same way, if the intention to vote were estimated by the biggest booing of someone who criticizes a candidate, Trump would be the winner of the primaries, after one of his rivals, the former governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, was the only one who dared to categorically reject the figure of the former president and caused numerous protests among the public.
Of the candidates who spoke this day, the one who sounded most presidential was DeSantis, governor of Florida, who, like the rest of his adversaries, launched a ferocious attack against abortion, knowing that this issue is a priority for his party’s influential Christian evangelical base. .
DeSantis perfectly summed up what will be the script of Republican arguments to recover the Presidency in 2024: “The war against the ‘woke’ (progre) ideology.”
“It is important to have a society rooted in the truth, do not tell me that a man can get pregnant and expect him to accept it, I will not accept it,” he said, causing laughter from those present.
DeSantis puffed up his chest after pushing a state law in Florida that prohibits abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy and lashed out at gender-affirming treatments.
Whoever is elected, what became clear today is that the Republicans want to focus the campaign to return to the White House on the culture wars that the US is experiencing, from further restricting access to abortion to curtailing the rights of the LGTBI collective or control what is taught in the classroom.
The candidate who felt the most like a fish in water this Friday in this event of evangelical Christians was Mike Pence, a man of strong religious convictions.
Although everyone was talking about abortion today, until now Pence had been the most vocal proposing a ban after the fifteenth week of pregnancy at the national level, since Trump has been dodging the issue, DeSantis had barely made reference to it since who approved the veto in Florida in April and the rest had not been very clear.
“All Republican candidates for president should support a ban on abortion before fifteen weeks as a national minimum standard,” said Pence, who recalled that he became “a defender of the unborn” after the Court ruling. Supreme Court “Roe v. Wade”, which legalized abortion in 1973 and which was revoked by that court just one year ago.
Like Pence, veteran politicians like former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have brought up their anti-abortion record, while Miami Mayor Francis Suárez, younger than them and the only Latino to have run for Until now, he turned to his personal past, even before he was born.
“I myself am a product of the pro-life movement, in fact my parents met at a pro-life protest,” he boasted.
In their speeches the various candidates basically ignored each other, with the only references made to another candidate by Christie, who did not go very well with the Trump-bashing move, and Pence, who did more a compliment than a criticism of the former president, despite having been very harsh with him at his campaign launch rally.
“I have always been grateful for what President Donald Trump did,” Pence said. “It was a privilege to serve as his vice president, and while we had differences and still do, elections are about the future.”
For the rest, the businessman and candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, the son of Indian migrants, used his age, 37, to advertise himself as the “first millennial presidential candidate”, with a speech addressed to the most traditional sector of the party, in which he defended “that the life of an unborn is life and that there are two genders”.
And Scott, one of the African-American candidates, focused his defense of abortion restrictions on the situation of black women and regretted that the Joe Biden government supports access to abortion. EFE