Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launches presidential bid in glitch-ridden Twitter announcement

by the associated press: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis launched his 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday (local time) with strong words but a devastating Twitter announcement that did little to counter criticism that the 44-year-old Republican may not be ready to take on former President Donald Trump.

While he tried to exude confidence, DeSantis’ unusual decision to announce his campaign in an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk ultimately backfired. The audio stream crashed repeatedly, making it nearly impossible for most users to hear the new presidential candidate in real time.

“American decline is not inevitable — it is a choice. And we must choose a new direction — a path that will lead to American revitalization,” DeSantis said on the glitch stream, running through his conservative achievements. “I am running for President of the United States to lead our great American comeback.”

While his critics in both parties were pleased with the rocky start, DeSantis’ announcement marks a new chapter in his extraordinary rise from little-known congressman to two-term governor as a key figure in the country’s bitter feud over race, gender, abortion and . other divisive issues.

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DeSantis’ road to the Republican presidential nomination won’t be easy.

He enters the race seeing Trump trailing in early polls while facing serious questions about his far-right policies, his campaign-trail persona and lack of relationships in the Republican ecosystem. He has generated significant interest among GOP primary voters by casting himself as a younger and more electable version of the 76-year-old former president.

He didn’t mention Trump even once in his discussion with Musk, which ultimately lasted more than an hour. But he said he is ready to fight.

DeSantis said, “When I get there, buckle up because the status quo is not acceptable.”

The final Republican nominee on the November 2024 general election ballot is expected to face Democratic President Joe Biden.

DeSantis joins a field that also includes former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Former Vice President Mike Pence is also being considered as a possible presidential candidate, but has not yet announced a bid.

In picking up Twitter on Wednesday evening, DeSantis tried to take a page out of the playbook that helped turn businessman-TV celebrity Trump into a political star, but it didn’t go as planned.

Musk said the online event began with technical glitches that were caused by “strained” servers because so many people were trying to listen to the audio-only event. After more than 20 minutes elapsed from the scheduled start time, users were kicked off, listening to microphone feedback and dealing with music holding and other technical problems.

DeSantis’ Republican opponents were merciless.

“Soft launch failed? Checking. Failed announcement? Double checking. We’re looking forward to a failed Ron DeSantis campaign,” said Mark Harris, chief strategist for Haley’s super PAC.

Trump continued, “Wow! The launch of DeSanctus TWITTER is a disaster! His entire campaign would be a disaster. Watch!” he wrote on his social media site.

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Nevertheless, DeSantis’ campaign said it raised $1 million online in the first hour after the announcement.

When asked about the technical difficulties, DeSantis said in a later interview on Fox News, “We had a huge audience.” “It was the biggest they’ve ever had. It broke the Twitter space. We’re really excited about the excitement.

DeSantis, who likely could not have become Florida governor without Trump’s support, has adopted the former president’s fiery persona, his populist policies, and even some of his rhetoric and mannerisms.

Yet DeSantis has one thing his opponent does not – a credible claim that he could be more elected than Trump, who faces multiple legal threats, including criminal charges in New York, and who has won three consecutive terms. Presided over Republican defeat in national elections.

DeSantis, only six months earlier, had won his re-election in Florida by an astonishing 19 percentage points – even as Republicans in several other states were struggling. He also scored several major policy victories during the spring session of the Republican-controlled Legislature.

“We need to win again,” DeSantis said on Fox. “As Republicans, we’ve got to get rid of this culture of losing.”

Aware of DeSantis’ draw, Trump has focused for months on reducing his political appeal, attacking him at every opportunity. Trump and his team believe DeSantis may be Trump’s only legitimate threat to the nomination.

But kitchen-sink assaults and nicknames won’t be the only obstacles for DeSantis.

He is a political veteran in Florida and appears regularly on Fox News, but aides acknowledge that most primary voters in other states do not know him well.

Despite his lengthy resume, friends and foes alike note that DeSantis struggles to display the campaign-trail charisma and quick-on-his-feet that often define successful candidates on a national level. As a presidential contender, he has gone to great lengths to avoid public appearances and media scrutiny, which is difficult, if not impossible, as governor.

Florida’s governor spent most of the day behind closed doors.

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In an example of his level of media avoidance, his official Twitter account for the governor posted a photo Wednesday afternoon of a bill signer surrounded by dozens of bikers calling for legislation to help reduce motorcycle accidents in Florida. Did. Reporters were not informed of the incident ahead of time.

Late Wednesday, DeSantis’ office announced that he had signed a comprehensive election law bill that includes a provision that allows him to run for president without resigning from his position as governor, himself ” To resign is known as “resign”.

Potential supporters are also concerned that DeSantis has refused to invest in party leaders or relationships with fellow elected officials, raising questions about his ability to build the coalition he will ultimately need to defeat Trump. In contrast, Trump has amassed an army of support in key states including Florida.

Beyond the primary, DeSantis’ biggest long-term challenge may rest with the far-right policies he implemented as governor as an unapproachable leader, what he calls his “war on war.”

Florida’s governor sent dozens of immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard off the Massachusetts coast to draw attention to the influx of Latin American migrants trying to cross the US-Mexico border. He signed and then expanded the Parental Rights in Education bill—known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law—which barred instruction or classroom discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in Florida public schools for all grades. imposes restrictions.

Most recently, he signed a law banning abortion at six weeks, which is before most women even realize they’re pregnant. And he fired an elected prosecutor who vowed not to charge people under Florida’s new abortion restrictions or doctors who provide gender-affirming care.

DeSantis also signed a law this year allowing Florida residents to carry concealed firearms without a permit. He pushed through new measures that critics warned would undermine press freedom. He also took control of a liberal arts college, which he believed was indoctrinating students with leftist ideologies.

The governor’s highest-profile political battle is against Florida entertainment company Disney, which publicly opposed his “Don’t Say Gay” law. In retaliation, DeSantis seized control of Disney World’s governing body and installed loyalists who were threatening to take over the park plan.

Once the Twitter stream started working, he said, “We will never surrender to the awakened mob and we will leave the awakened ideology in the dustbin of history.”

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