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US: DeSantis announces presidential run amid Twitter flaws

Published May 24, 2023last updated May 25, 2023

The governor of Florida announced his bid during a Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk. However, the 2024 presidential pitch was knocked out for large parts by the platform's inability to produce audio.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has officially entered the race for the White House, hoping to be the Republican Party's candidateImage: Phil Sears/AP Photo/picture alliance

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday officially entered the 2024 US presidential race, filing out paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.

The move came ahead of an announcement via Twitter Spaces with the social media platform's CEO Elon Musk.

But that declaration was initially beset by technical glitches as the social media platform struggled to maintain the audio, before crashing on multiple occasions.

Musk said the problems were due to "straining" servers because so many people were trying to tune into the event.

Since taking over Twitter in October, Musk has laid off thousands of employees, from engineers to product managers. Some 70% of the workforce has been reportedly eliminated.

End culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party, DeSantis says

Finally, with the conversation live on Twitter, DeSantis said: "I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback." He said it was important to "look forward, not backwards." 

"There is no substitute for victory. We must end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years," DeSantis said. "The tired dogmas of the past are inadequate for a vibrant future," he added.

Taking a subtle dig at the Twitter crash during DeSantis's presidential announcement, US President Joe Biden send out a tweet for fundraising for his campaign saying: "This links works."

DeSantis on immigration, replacing FBI director if he were to be president

DeSantis touched on a number of topics on Twitter during the hour he spoke, including immigration.

"We will move on day one by declaring a national emergency. We will construct a border wall," DeSantis said. He added that holding the "Mexican drug cartels" was important because they were facilitating a bulk of the migration.

He spoke about Bitcoin and said people have "every right to do Bitcoin. The only reason these people in Washington don't like it is because they don't control it."

Shortly after his announcement to run for president, DeSantis spoke to Fox News, telling them he would not keep Christopher Wray as the director of the FBI if he became president. Wray was appointed by then President Donald Trump for the job in 2017. 

DeSantis largely focused on his track record as Florida's governor during the Twitter Space event, as he has done in recent months. But he has been criticized for failing to present a national vision for all Americans.

He will face off against former President Donald Trump and other members of the GOP in the hopes of being the Republican Party candidate during next year's race for the White House.

Younger alternative to Trump

DeSantis has managed to generate a following among Republican voters and is positioning himself as a younger, more electable version of the former president.

The Florida politician was an ally during Trump's four-years as president. Trump even endorsed him during the now 44-year-old's first campaign for governor.

DeSantis attended Harvard Law School and received a commission as an officer in the US Navy. After graduating, he joined the Judge Advocate General Corps as an attorney and was assigned to the military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

There he oversaw the treatment of detainees and would later be deployed in Iraq to advise a team of Navy SEALs in 2007.

rm, kb/rs, jsi (AP, Reuters)