Despite technical difficulties, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he would run for president in 2024.
He entered the crowded Republican primary field, where he will face former president Donald Trump and criticism that he isn’t prepared for the national stage.
The vocal cultural conservative Republican, 44, made his initial announcement of his choice in a video shared on social media, but he intended to go into more detail in a first-of-its-kind conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces.
The high-profile announcement, however, was nearly impossible for most users to hear in real-time since the audio feed frequently crashed.
In a one-minute video broadcast on social media before the debate, DeSantis stated, “We need the courage to lead and the strength to win.”
Despite the bumpy beginning, DeSantis’ declaration opens a new chapter in his remarkable journey from obscurity as a congressman to prominence as a two-term governor and a key player in the nation’s contentious debates about race, gender, abortion, and other contentious issues.
Even while the governor is criticized for his extreme beliefs, demeanor on the campaign trail, and lack of connections inside the Republican establishment, DeSantis is still seen as Trump’s strongest Republican opponent. Nevertheless, positioning himself as a younger and more electable version of the 76-year-old former president has significantly increased interest among GOP primary voters.
On the general election ballot in November 2024, the eventual Republican nominee is anticipated to face Joe Biden, the incumbent Democratic president.
Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley is also in the running alongside DeSantis. Senators Tim Scott of South Carolina, Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas, and Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech tycoon, are also present. Although he hasn’t declared, former vice president Mike Pence is also seen as a potential candidate.
DeSantis attempted to discuss his presidential run for the first time during a talk with Musk, one of the wealthiest men in the world and a man who is increasingly seen as a conservative cult figure, on Twitter Space. David Sacks, a close friend of Musk’s and a Republican fundraiser, mediated the discussion.
Due to the high volume of individuals attempting to listen to the audio-only event, Twitter’s owner claimed that the event’s technical difficulties were caused by “straining” servers.
The event was set to start at 6 p.m., and Musk had called it a historic first for Twitter, saying it would be “the first time something like this is happening on social media.” EDT, however, at that time, people were expelled, and there was microphone feedback and other technical issues.
This is a catastrophe. Not shocking,” top Trump aide Chris LaCivita tweeted.