Bullrich to endorse Milei in run-off: ‘We decided to forgive each other’

Answering a question by the Herald, she said she and the LLA presidential candidate made amends in a private meeting Tuesday night

Patricia Bullrich press conference.

Patricia Bullrich and Luis Petri will back Milei’s presidential campaign on a personal level, they announced at a press conference Wednesday morning, immediately following an urgent meeting of the PRO party leadership.

In response to a question from the Herald, Bullrich said that she and the libertarian economist have decided to “forgive each other.”

“Yesterday I had a meeting with Javier Milei where we had a conversation in private about those statements, and we forgave each other mutually,” she told the Herald. “We think that today, our homeland needs us to be capable of forgiving each other, because what’s at stake is very important. It was in private, a chat between the two of us, and I think it’s right for us to keep it private, but it was an apology that I think was sincere.”

The libertarian firebrand had previously accused Bullrich of being a guerrilla member and planting a bomb in a kindergarten, prompting her to file a criminal complaint. Milei did not apologize for the comments in a subsequent interview, even when asked directly.

Among the reasons for her decision, Bullrich added that “if Kirchnerism wins, JxC will be completely dissolved.” 

“We already know of their extortive practices […] with which they try and generate governability problems in provinces and cities run by JxC leaders. We think that with this position, we are allowing JxC to not fall hostage to a new transversality like [Néstor] Kirchner created between 2003 and 2005,” she said, referring to the late president’s alliance with different coalitions after he took office.

After the press conference, Milei posted an image on X, formerly Twitter, of a duck and a lion, animals that represent Bullrich and Milei, wrapped in the Argentine flag and embracing. 

The development alters the political landscape in the wake of Sunday’s presidential elections, in which Economy Minister Sergio Massa bested Milei by nearly 7 points. The pair will head to a November run-off, while Bullrich was knocked out of the race.

With JxC out, onlookers have speculated fervently about whether Bullrich and other leaders of the coalition would publicly back Milei. Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, who ran for JxC’s presidential nomination and lost to Bullrich, said that he would not back a Milei government in an interview with radio station Neura the Tuesday before the elections. 

“I don’t believe in any of the things he proposes… With all of those disagreements, how could I back [his] government?” he said, citing the libertarian’s proposals such as lifting gun controls, dollarization, and a voucher system for schools. “All the Mileis that exist in the world, fail.” 

Not everyone in JXC agrees. Before Bullrich’s announcement, some PRO members had already said they would support Milei in the run-off. Former national deputy Waldo Wolff, as well as Capitán Sarmiento mayor and former Energy Minister Javier Iguacel, each said Tuesday that they are backing the LLA candidate in the run-off.

“It’s not the time for lukewarm [positions],” Iguacel, who was energy minister during Macri’s administration, wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “I am going to support Milei, because this is about freedom or crime.”

Wolff, who is close to Macri, was a guest on TV news station La Nación+ alongside Milei, and said in front of him: “Out of these options, I am backing Javier, that’s what I am proposing.”

Elsewhere in JxC, the coalition’s co-founder Ernesto Sanz — who is president of PRO’s coalition-mates, the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) — said on radio station Urbana Play Wednesday morning that the coalition would split up if PRO backed Milei.

PRO, founded in 2005, has been the ruling party in Buenos Aires city since 2007, when Mauricio Macri became mayor. Larreta replaced him in 2015. They advocate for a free market economy, a small state, and tough-on-crime policies, with a broadly conservative stance on social issues.

PRO is one of the largest parties in JxC, together with the UCR. Bullrich leads the party’s hard-right hawks, while figures such as Larreta and national deputy and former Buenos Aires province governor María Eugenia Vidal represent the party’s more moderate, center-right wing. 

Juntos por el Cambio was founded in 2015 by PRO leader Mauricio Macri, Coalición Cívica founder Elisa Carrió and Ernesto Sanz, who was the UCR’s president at the time.

In April, Bullrich requested leave from her role as president of PRO to campaign for president of Argentina. After finishing third in the general elections with 23.8% of the vote, she resumed the party leadership.

In an interview with LN+ TV channel minutes before the press conference, Coalición Cívica (CC) leader Elisa Carrió said that Bullrich was about to commit a “historic mistake” and accused Macri of “supporting Milei and destroying JxC.” 

“I haven’t spoken to [Macri] since I attended a private meeting in his home of June of last year. I know him quite a lot, and I stayed until the end. After I left, I told [my collaborators], Macri is going to beat down Horacio [Rodríguez Larreta], serve Patricia [Bullrich] on a platter, and then join Milei,” Carrió said, adding that Macri has succumbed to his “dark side.” 

Carrió, who stated that her voters are free to vote for whomever they want, said that Macri destroyed JxC because “ex presidents don’t want anyone else to win.”

“[Former presidents] say, ‘if I can’t win, then nobody will win.’ I know them. If [Macri] can’t win, he prefers Milei.”

JxC national deputy Martín Tetaz also chimed in, saying that he will not support Milei or Massa in the run-off. “I will either cast a blank vote or spoil by ballot,” Tetaz said in an interview with Urbana Play radio station. 

The announcement is also causing tension within La Libertad Avanza (LLA), where some of its members are voicing their disagreement with Milei’s sudden shift in tactics. Liliana Salinas, who won a seat as national deputy in Sunday’s elections for LLA, released a statement saying that they would not allow this “scandalous manipulation” of the people who have defended LLA. 

“The chainsaw and the bomb, in the end, became real, and they broke what we had built based on ideas they now left behind by embracing the worst of the political caste,” she wrote.

In an interview with C5N TV station, Salinas said that their voters were free to choose whom to vote for, but that they would not support the campaign leading to the run-off. “We feel disappointed, and we will not change our ideas,” she concluded.


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