Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched his 2024 presidential campaign on Twitter on Wednesday after months of speculation.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched his 2024 presidential campaign on Twitter on Wednesday after months of speculation. However, DeSantis’ announcement was disrupted by Twitter glitches that delayed his announcement and drew unwanted headlines on his first official day as a presidential candidate.
- “I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” said DeSantis once the Twitter Spaces conversation was underway. He added, “American decline is not inevitable. It’s a choice.”
- The DeSantis campaign billed the Twitter announcement as a historic first, but instead users were delayed for nearly thirty minutes after the sheer volume of people trying to listen to DeSantis’ conversation with Elon Musk proved “straining” for Twitter’s servers.
- His team decided to lean into the snafu, saying his announcement had “broke the Internet with so much excitement.” Later on Wednesday, DeSantis’ campaign announced it had raised $1 million in an hour after his launch.
- DeSantis quickly drew contrasts with his chief rival, former President Donald Trump. “Government is not about entertainment, not about building a brand,” DeSantis said. “We must end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years,” he continued in an unmistakable reference to GOP defeats in 2018, 2020 and 2022 with Trump at the helm.
- The Florida governor begins his campaign months after cruising to a landslide reelection in the Sunshine State and after a busy legislative session where DeSantis worked with a friendly legislature to pass a series of conservative bills on abortion, guns and the death penalty.
- DeSantis’ technical difficulties made him an early target of his presidential rivals, with Trump and President Joe Biden tweeting remarks trolling the delay. Meanwhile, the other non-Trump GOP candidates like Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, and potential candidate Glenn Youngkin all seized on the glitches to counterprogram and make the case for their own bids.
- Politico published six articles about DeSantis on the day of his launch, nearly all of them critical. His launch was a “meltdown,” “marred be horrendous tech failures.” Politico surveyed his “most contentious legislation” and insisted that in “DeSantis’ Sunshine State, life is not all sunny.” Jack Shafer confidently predicted that “the media has got Ron DeSantis nailed” and put him in an “unflattering straitjacket.”
- DeSantis’ “extended social media hiccup” left 500,000 people waiting and created an opportunity for his elderly rivals, the New York Times observed. Biden’s social media manager posted, “This link works,” with a link to the campaign’s donation page. Trump posted a series of personal attacks on Truth Social attacking what his son Don Jr. called the “#DeSaster.”
- As Axios reported, “Fox News used to be the place where conservatives went to break news. But the right-wing ecosystem has turned on the network, leaving Twitter as the center of media gravity for the Republican Party just as the 2024 election heats up…In choosing to bypass Fox News for Twitter, DeSantis is sending a signal to conservatives that Fox News is just as much a part of the mainstream media as CNN or any other news network.”
- Former President Donald Trump responded to DeSantis’ entry with a Truth Social post that Fox News called simply “bizarre.” “’Rob,’ My Red Button is bigger, better, stronger, and is working (TRUTH!), yours does not! (per my conversation with Kim Jung Un, of North Korea, soon to become my friend!),” the former President of the United States wrote.
- National Review’s Philip Klein called DeSantis’ launch “a disaster.” Klein continued, “The launch of a campaign is one of the few moments in which a candidate has full control of the medium and message, and broad attention. By agreeing to do the Twitter Spaces launch, DeSantis surrendered control and suffered for it.”
- DeSantis made several promises during his first official day as a presidential candidate. According to the New York Post, DeSantis pledged to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray on his first day in office, ramp up energy production to fight inflation, and implement national school choice legislation.
© Dominic Moore, 2023