Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially unveiled his long-awaited Republican bid for the presidency on Wednesday in a botched announcement on Twitter that was plagued by glitches and resulted in hundreds of thousands of viewers being banned from the event.
Elon Musk, the owner and former CEO of Twitter, had been touting the announcement for days, but things quickly went awry as audio feeds were interrupted and Twitter staff could be heard trying to fix the situation. At one point, more than 500,000 people appeared to have been following the Twitter Spaces event before it suddenly went offline. Musk was able to launch a new online venue, but only about half of the original viewers were able to join.
“Man, I think we melted the internet there,” David Sacks, the discussion’s moderator, once said.
Musk, who said the introduction was “unfortunate,” was finally able to introduce the governor as a “historic announcement” and said he thought it was valuable to hear directly from candidates for a “real experience.”
“You can tell it’s real by some mistakes,” Musk quipped.
The governor was quick to address issues slandering the state of the Union, attacking President Joe Biden and painting a bleak picture of the future.
“I’m running for President of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis said 26 minutes into the event. “We know our country is going in the wrong direction. We see it with our eyes and we feel it in our bones.”
The governor’s competitors plunged after the technical difficulties.
“This link works,” Biden’s campaign said wrote on Twitter and directed supporters to a Biden-Harris fundraising page.
A Super PAC for former President Donald Trump, who is also running for the 2024 GOP nomination, was quick to share a screenshot mocking the DeSantis event.
DeSantis filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission earlier in the day and is expected to be a key Trump competitor. Trump still has a firm grip on the party and is at the top more than 30 percentage points He ranks below Republicans in the national poll, but DeSantis and his allies are preparing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to secure his spot in the primary.