(NewsHill.org)- Rollan Roberts II is hoping to make waves in the GOP as a dark horse candidate for president in 2024.
He announced his official candidacy back in January and is now turning up the heat on the two presumptive frontrunners in the primary race.
Recently, he appeared on a Just the News TV program, calling Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump “reactionary, defensive” candidates. He also added that Republican voters are in need of new leadership.
Roberts, a pastor and entrepreneur who serves in the state Senate in West Virginia, has founded multiple organizations, including Rollan College and Transform Africa. That foundation provides educational and entrepreneurial opportunities to various communities in Africa.
As he explained on the Just the News program:
“I come from the entrepreneurial world. There’s just a world of difference between how we fundamentally think – from the way I think to the rest of the field – and we see this over and over, whether it’s Trump or whether it’s DeSantis. They’re all reactionary, defensive candidates, and we need visionary leadership.”
It’s this forward-thinking approach that Roberts hopes to bring to the Republican Party. While Trump is certainly an entrepreneur, the West Virginia senator believes that his vision would serve him well, and that the White House needs principled and disciplined leadership.
“I am running for president, not to take us backward to the way things used to be, and not to reset humanity to some ideology. But through principled and disciplined leadership – sound wisdom grounded in truth, and with respect for all people – to lead America in solving the great issues of our day in a way that lays the foundation for our leadership and excellence in the 22nd century.”
Roberts is certainly an outsider in the Republican Party – at least in terms of presidential candidates – and it would certainly be a shock if he were to somehow capture the GOP nomination. That being said, it wouldn’t be the first time that an outsider entrepreneur shocked the world and won the GOP presidential nomination, as Trump knows well.
The candidate is trying to distinguish himself from other GOP presidential hopefuls, but one of his challenges in doing so is that his “differentiating factors” actually line up with some of the ones Trump was able to claim when he first ran in 2016.
Roberts believes that his experience in international business would be an invaluable asset for a world leader. Of course, Trump had tons of experience as an international business leader when he ran as well.
As a result, it’s a little tough for Roberts to say he’s bringing something different to the table, at least in terms of his on-paper experience. Where he could distinguish himself is in his policies and his viewpoints, which is what he’s trying to do.
As he said of his rivals in the GOP primary:
“They’re all of the same ideology and come from the same schools and come from the same cloth. They’re all former politicians.”