Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at a conference titled Celebrate the Faces of Israel, Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, April 27, 2023.
Maya Alleruzzo | AFP | Getty Images
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign announcement plans were derailed Wednesday night by massive technical glitches on Twitter that temporarily prevented him from declaring his candidacy.
“Servers are stretched a bit,” Twitter owner Elon Musk said on the app’s live audio stream where he and DeSantis were supposed to have a conversation that included the governor’s first verbal announcement of his candidacy for the post. the White House.
Musk’s comment came between crashes, feedback issues and audio outages that prevented the conversation on Twitter’s Spaces feature from starting for about 25 minutes past its scheduled start time of 6 p.m. ET.
Musk and investor David Sacks, an ally of the pair, launched a new Twitter Spaces webcast after the first fell through. But technical issues also surfaced in that stream, including amid DeSantis’ remarks.
DeSantis had filed federal documents earlier in the day, officially putting him in the running for the Republican presidential nomination. His campaign had also released a video in which DeSantis says, “I’m running for president to lead our great American comeback.”
But DeSantis’ unorthodox decision to make a major announcement on an audio-only Twitter tool drew the most attention.
The first aborted Spaces event listed over half a million listeners before being scrapped altogether.
When he was finally able to speak uninterrupted, DeSantis began by echoing some of the remarks he had made in the pre-recorded video his campaign released shortly before.
“Well, I’m running for President of the United States to lead our Great American Comeback,” DeSantis tweeted. He addressed issues such as crime and economic anxiety and slammed President Joe Biden for lacking “vigour” and “drawing inspiration from the woke crowd”.
The botched event came as Musk scrambled to boost Twitter’s revenue. Earlier this month, he hired former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino to replace him as CEO of the social media platform. Musk bought Twitter in October for $44 billion. He has since laid off around 80% of the company’s workforce.
After the event, Musk tweeted: “All presidential candidates are welcome on this platform.”
A DeSantis campaign official attempted to turn the spraying event into a positive, telling NBC News, “Governor DeSantis broke the internet – that should tell you everything you need to know about the strength of his candidacy….”
But DeSantis’ critics and his main political opponents pounced on the glitch fest.
“His collar is too big! Trump wrote on Truth Social, his own Twitter-like social platform.
Biden’s official Twitter account, meanwhile, took the opportunity to ask for contributions to his re-election campaign.
“This link works,” Biden tweeted with a URL to his ActBlue donation page.