Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich said that the opposition bloc can no longer be held “hostage” to the actions of former president Mauricio Macri during a television interview on Sunday night.
With her remarks, she appeared to highlight her independence from Macri, her peer within the rightwing PRO party. The ex-leader has been fielding advances from far-right libertarian economist Javier Milei, who received the most votes in August’s primaries.
“In JxC, we have always been hostages to Macri’s actions, and I don’t think we have to be hostages any longer,” Bullrich told TN news station. “Macri does what he considers best. We have to liberate JxC and let Mauricio sort things out however he sees fit.” She was explaining that her coalition’s actions and electoral campaign can no longer be contingent on the actions of the former president, who continues to wield influence within the alliance.
Bullrich, who was Security minister during Macri’s government (2015-2019), added that if the coalition follows Macri’s every move, their campaign would become a reactive one, rather than proposing ideas.
“If anyone doesn’t want to be in JxC’s camp anymore, it’s their decision. I don’t think Macri is in that position, he said he is not.”
In the August 13 primaries, Bullrich secured her place as the JxC presidential candidate after beating her contender within the coalition, Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
While Macri never explicitly backed Bullrich or Larreta in the internal race for the JxC nomination, and had called for the coalition members to remain neutral, he said just days before the primaries that he backed her vision for a “deep, swift change.”
He had expressed “differences” with Larreta, who proposed a program of more gradual change. The pair’s relationship cooled after they disagreed over issues such as Larreta’s decision to split the local and national ballot in the city, which was expected to disadvantage his cousin Jorge Macri, who won the JxC primary for Buenos Aires City Mayor against Martín Lousteau.
A few days after the primaries, Milei said that, if elected, he would offer a custom-made role to Macri. “He would have a prominent role as a representative of Argentina,” the far-right libertarian presidential hopeful said.
“Macri would have a role above the Foreign Affairs Ministry. A country representative, I don’t know how to define it, the role would have to be created. He is someone who can open markets for the country,” Milei added.
In her interview, Bullrich described Milei’s economic proposals — which include dollarizing Argentina’s economy and abolishing the central bank — as “impossible, inapplicable.”