“He’s our hope. The Brazilian people are discouraged by all the corruption,” said Gilcemar Jasset, a 35-year-old Rio de Janeiro bus driver who arrived at the event dressed as Bolsonaro complete with a presidential sash.
Despite his popularity, Bolsonaro only has the backing of a small fringe party, which means he’s only allowed 10 seconds of free television time, a serious handicap in a nation where TV ads have a big impact. But he brushed off concerns, pointing to his popularity.
“We don’t have a big party. We don’t have election funding. We don’t have television time. But we have what the others don’t have, which is you, the Brazilian people,” Bolsonaro said.
The seven-term congressman has been vague about specific policy plans involving the economy, which he professed to know little about in an interview with Brazil’s O Globo newspaper on Saturday.
On Sunday, Bolsonaro said he supported the privatization of some parts of Petrobras without going into detail, and declined to weigh in on recently announced plans by Boeing to buy a majority stake in Brazilian planemaker Embraer’s commercial arm.
Janaína Paschoal, a lawyer who gained national attending for seeking the impeachment of former leftist President Dilma Rousseff was expected to be announced as Bolsonaro’s running mate. Paschoal, however, told the crowd she was still considering the offer ahead of an August 15 deadline.