Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suffered a chaotic start to his 2024 presidential election race today when glitches marred an online forum hosted by Twitter owner Elon Musk that was meant to showcase DeSantis’ fitness for the job.
The Twitter broadcast of the hour-long interview, which had been intended as the formal launch for the DeSantis campaign, lost sound for extended stretches and thousands of users were either unable to join or were dropped.
It was an inauspicious start for a campaign predicated on the governor’s executive competence.
“We must end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years,” DeSantis said in the event with Musk once the problems were largely resolved. The hashtag #DeSaster was trending on Twitter.
DeSantis’ entrance in the Republican contest sets up a showdown with his one-time ally, former President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.
The Florida governor framed himself as a get-it-done executive who stood up to the federal government over Covid policies and who has put an indelibly conservative stamp on his home state.
He defended his efforts in Florida to prohibit the teaching of concepts such as gender identity and systemic racism as protecting young children and pushing back against progressive ideology.
With a rising national profile and what are expected to be deep financial resources, DeSantis, 44, immediately became Trump’s biggest rival for the Republican nomination.
“Government is not about entertainment, not about building a brand,” DeSantis said, taking a veiled swipe at Trump. Notably he never mentioned Trump by name during the event.
Trump, 76, didn’t hesitate to mock DeSantis on his social media platform, Truth Social, over the stumbling start to his campaign.
“My Red Button is bigger, better, stronger, and is working (TRUTH!)” Trump posted, “Yours does not…