Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a conference titled “Celebrate the Faces of Israel,” Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, April 27, 2023.
Maya Alleruzzo | AFP | Getty Images
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign announcement plans were dashed Wednesday night by massive technical glitches on Twitter that temporarily prevented him from announcing his candidacy.
“Servers are a little busy,” Twitter owner Elon Musk was heard saying on the app’s live audio stream, where he and DeSantis were scheduled to have a conversation that included the governor’s first verbal announcement of his candidacy for the White House .
Musk’s comment came amid crashes, feedback glitches, and audio glitches that caused the conversation on Twitter’s Spaces feature to fail to begin about 25 minutes after its scheduled start time at 6 p.m. ET.
Musk and investor David Sacks, an ally of both men, launched a new Twitter Spaces webcast after the original one failed. But technical issues surfaced on that stream as well, even in the midst of DeSantis’ remarks.
DeSantis had filed state filings earlier in the day, officially putting him in the Republican nomination for president. A video was also released as part of his campaign, in which DeSantis says, “I’m running for President to lead our great American comeback.”
But DeSantis’ unorthodox decision to make a big announcement on an audio-only Twitter tool had caught the most attention.
The canceled first Spaces event drew more than half a million listeners before being canceled entirely.
When he was finally able to speak uninterruptedly, DeSantis first repeated some of the remarks he made in the recorded video his campaign released moments earlier.
“Well, I’m running for President of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis said on Twitter. He addressed issues such as crime and economic angst, and criticized President Joe Biden for lacking “energy” and “leaning to the woke mob.”
The botched event came as Musk pushed to boost Twitter’s revenue. Earlier this month, he hired Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s former advertising executive, to replace him as the social media platform’s CEO.
A DeSantis campaign worker tried to turn the stuttering event into something positive, telling NBC News, “Governor DeSantis broke the internet — that should tell you everything you need to know about the strength of his candidacy…!”
But DeSantis’ critics and his main political opponents threw themselves on the glitch-fest.
“His collar is too big!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, his own Twitter-like social platform.
Biden’s official Twitter account, meanwhile, took the opportunity to solicit donations for his re-election campaign.
“This link works,” Biden tweeted with a URL linking to his ActBlue donation page.