Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, with his poll numbers dwindling and his opponents circling like sharks, renewed his efforts to win over South Carolina Republicans on Tuesday, hoping for a reset for his struggling White House campaign.

Mr. DeSantis hopes to assuage his doubters with a rare interview outside the conservative media bubble — he will be on CNN at 4 p.m. Eastern — and a swing through South Carolina, a hotly contested early primary state, where he filed the paperwork formally declaring. his presidential candidacy.

Republican primary front-runner Donald J. Trump has comfortably led polls in the Palmetto State for months, but the twice-impeached former president announced Tuesday that he may face new federal charges in connection with his efforts to hang on. power after he lost the 2020 election.

Two other Republican candidates with close ties to South Carolina, Sen. Tim Scott and former governor Nikki Haley, will also hope to take advantage of Mr. Trump’s legal jeopardy and Mr. DeSantis’ stumbles and present themselves as the new alternative to the former president. .

But on Monday night in Tega Cay, SC, on the North Carolina border, Mr. DeSantis continued to avoid a full-on confrontation with Mr. Trump and stuck to his well-worn talking points: the supposed “indoctrination” of children by “leftists.” ” educators, mobilizing the military to the southern border to stop “our country from being invaded,” the vilification of “the Chinese Communist Party” by “DC elites” and his disappointment in Mr. Trump for failing to fire Dr. Anthony S. Fauci . , who helped lead the Covid-19 response in the last year of the Trump administration.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. DeSantis discussed military policy outside Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, a state that relies on military bases and has a large veteran population.

Mr. DeSantis avoided mainstream news outlets, hoping to take his message directly to conservative audiences. But with a news conference Tuesday morning in West Columbia, SC, and a taped interview with CNN host Jake Tapper in the afternoon, the governor hopes to assuage critics who say he can’t handle the heat of a critical press.

Recently released fundraising figures, while strong in total at $20 million, show a candidate spending hand over fist and dangerously dependent on big donors who might look elsewhere for a Trump alternative. Major donors have met in recent days with Mr Scott and the wealthy entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

The DeSantis political operation may be stepping up its strikes against Mr. Trump. The DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down confirmed that on Tuesday new advertisement of the group used artificial intelligence to imitate Mr. Trump’s voice as if it were attacking Iowa’s popular conservative governor, Kim Reynolds. Politics reported on the announcement Monday evening.

Mr. Trump’s feud with Ms. Reynolds over her refusal to endorse him is real, and began with an attack on his social network, Truth Social. And it could hurt the former president’s chances in Iowa, the state that will cast its first ballots of the primary season in January, because Ms. Reynolds is extremely popular with conservatives.

But the ad falsely claims to capture Mr. Trump on tape. The super PAC said, “Our team used technology to give voice to Donald Trump’s words and a Truth Social post attacking Governor Reynolds.”

The open-government group Public Citizen immediately demanded the super PAC remove the ad.

“This ad is running us down a slippery slope where voters won’t be able to distinguish authentic media from fake, AI-generated content,” said the group’s president, Robert Weissman.

In the meantime, Mr. DeSantis tried to plant his flag in South Carolina soil by officially declaring his candidacy.

“I am pleased to be the first Republican candidate to file nomination papers in South Carolina as we continue our mission to reverse American decline by rejecting Bidenomics, stopping the invasion at the border, fighting Communist China and ensuring a better future for our children,” he said. in a statement Tuesday morning.”Help is on the way.”

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