The unlikely campaign of a U.S. businessman for the presidency is making headlines after this week’s video of his declaration went viral.
Salon news At a news conference conducted last Friday at the West Virginia State Capitol, Dr. Rollan Roberts II, a Republican whose father is West Virginia State Senator Rollan A. Roberts (R-Raleigh), declared his candidacy for president in 2024. During his speech, Rollan Roberts II’s wife, who is five months pregnant, passed out.
During her husband’s speech, Rebecca Lea Roberts was seen stumbling and eventually fainting in a video clip that went viral on Twitter on Thursday. As she collapsed, she tore down an American flag, and the flagpole tumbled over her as people hurried to help her before Rollan Roberts II arrived.
Rollan Roberts II announces he is running for president this week, when his five-months pregnant wife passes out. She was fine, and Roberts was obviously highly concerned. Hell of a start to Rollan Roberts 2024! pic.twitter.com/iPP1qcx3pr
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) January 26, 2023
According to the West Virginia Daily News, the woman received medical attention. Later, Roberts reported that his wife was fine and praised the medical staff for their help.
According to the Roberts campaign website, Rebecca will give birth to their son in July. Additionally, he has two kids from a prior marriage.
On Roberts’ YouTube page, the official announcement video no longer contains any mention of the incident. The edited video abruptly jumps to show his wife sitting in a chair while someone else moves the U.S. flag that fell at the 7:31 minute after he can be seen with his wife standing next to him in heels at the 7:30 mark.
Roberts, who grew up in West Virginia and now lives in Kentucky, didn’t garner many headlines with his candidacy as the GOP presidential primary race is expected to feature more nationally known figures like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump. His campaign website describes Rollan as “an American businessman (and) government advisor,” but he has never held elected office before, according to The West Virginia Daily News.
“I am running for president, not to take us backwards to the way things used to be, and not to reset humanity to some ideology,” Roberts II said during his speech. “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.”
“I am not beholden to any lobbyist or corporation, or outside interest. I answer only to God and the American people – that is why I’m running.”
According to the Daily News, if Roberts’ campaign is successful he will become just the second native West Virginian to receive a major party nomination for president after John W. Davis, the 1924 Democratic presidential nominee. Davis lost in a landslide to Republican incumbent Calvin Coolidge.