Major fiasco to start the campaign. Florida Governor Ron de Santis had rallied via a Twitter Space, the plaform’s audio function, to introduce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election hand in hand with tycoon Elon Musk. But it started off with a skid. Due to technical problems, with hundreds of thousands of people connected, the connection was choppy and little could be heard after 25 minutes the conversation was scheduled to start.
While the experiment floundered, Joe Biden trolled him with a tweet: “This link works” which, when clicked, led to his campaign. Former President Donald Trump has also joined the mockery from his own network, Truth Social. DeSantis himself resigned himself to joking too: “It seems that we have broken the Internet”, he said.
At first, Musk launched the Twitter Space from his account, but it never worked properly. After just over 21 minutes, the broadcast was cut off. Those who stayed tuned to that link would not have been able to hear the candidate. David Sacks, who was acting as moderator, opened another broadcast and after another three minutes, for those who found out that the initial link was not valid and went to the new one, the rebroadcast was available.
The Republican politician presented his candidacy in parallel through a video that was released for the first time by the conservative Fox News channel, which also broadcast it on the Internet. DeSantis also tweeted the video, which in this case did work.
In that first video of his campaign, DeSantis presents himself as the resurgence candidate after an apocalyptic opening message in which he avoids talking about Donald Trump:
I’m running for president to lead our Great American Comeback. pic.twitter.com/YmkWkLaVDg— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) May 24, 2023
DeSantis was then able to begin to deliver his message. Although in theory the program was presented as a dialogue, he started with what seemed to be a long speech read with arguments similar to those in the video. He again refrained from mentioning Trump in his opening remarks, in which he spoke of the invasion of immigrants, crime, drugs and insecurity. He has sought to hold up Florida as an example of a place where things work better.
Neither Elon Musk nor moderator David Sacks, a Republican donor, friend of Musk and supporter of DeSantis, asked him about Donald Trump. Other guests have participated and praised him, but none really put him on the spot.
The launching of the candidacy through Twitter was a novel experiment, but it has failed because of that technically faulty beginning; although both DeSantis and Musk, as well as the various other guest speakers, were quick to praise the stunt despite the issues. For a politician who boasts of efficiency in management, such a stumble is a setback that adds to the disadvantage he starts with in the polls. But he presents himself as the candidate of the comeback. Now it is his turn to do just that.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition