(Updated with more details) Ron DeSantis is running for President.
Making it official today after months of proxy campaigning, the Florida Governor unveiled his 2024 White House ambitions just before a scheduled Twitter hosted interview with the social media company’s owner Elon Musk. Earlier Wednesday, DeSantis filed the paperwork necessary with the Federal Election Commission to begin his bid.
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Already a criticized unconventional choice, the Twitter Spaces conversation with Musk was hit with glitches leaving many listeners unable to tune in, so to speak.
Over 500,000 users experienced crashes or audio problems from the start. Within about 25-minutes the whole experiment seemed to not only crash but burn, and was abandoned as Twitter servers overloaded due to demand, according to Musk.
A few minutes beforehand, it was actually quite easy to hear and see where DeSantis was coming from in a more conventional format.
“Truth must be our foundation,” DeSantis exclaimed in a video that just dropped online with a clear thwack at Donald Trump. “I’m running for president to lead our great American comeback,” the governor added with Trump tones and Trump graphics, as you can see below:
I’m running for president to lead our Great American Comeback. pic.twitter.com/YmkWkLaVDg
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) May 24, 2023
Once viewed an electable example of Trumpism without being Trump, DeSantis has been lagging in recent GOP polls behind his one-time mentor and now mocking rival. In no small part, the turn of fortune has come as DeSantis has been widely battered, bruised and belittled in his on-going battle with the Walt Disney Company.
With local political maneuvers, lawsuits, countersuits, state legislation and even threats of a new prison next door to Disney World, DeSantis tried to pummel and paint the Bob Iger-led company as a “woke” corporation. Unfortunately, the move backfired with Disney taking the Governor personally to court, implying he is not pro-business, and cancelling multi-billion-dollar investments in the Sunshine State. The actions all were responses to the “retaliation” the company claims it has been subjected to by DeSantis for objections last year to Florida’s discriminatory Don’t Say Gay law.
Shedding donors in part due to the Disney dust-up, DeSantis has also been visibly struggling on the Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire pre-campaign trail. Never a natural retail politician like Joe Biden, the man he hopes to replace, DeSantis is entering an already crowded GOP field of not just Trump. Among the declared and undeclared contenders are Sen. Tim Scott, former SC Gov and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, ex-VP Mike Pence, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, ex-pharmaceutical company CEO Vivek Ramaswamy, and Dallas pastor Ryan Binkley.
Hoping to exhibit his 21st century and untraditional credibility, DeSantis’ sit-down with Musk has to be also taken as a swipe at Trump, who dominated Twitter for years before being banned in 2021. Going into another territory once known as Trumpland, the 2022 re-elected governor has a Fox News interview next on his schedule today for all the MAGA base without broadband.
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