Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially joined the race for president on Wednesday evening, though Twitter Spaces' technical problems got in the way of his message to Republicans that he's a winning alternative to Donald Trump. The appearance, hosted by Twitter owner Elon Musk, was 26 minutes old before DeSantis was able to say, "I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback." By then, much of his audience had given up, the New York Times reports. Before DeSantis was able to make his announcement, he was being mocked by his opponents. "This link works," President Biden's campaign tweeted to a solicitation for donations.
A DeSantis campaign official tried to cast the glitches as a positive, saying "Governor DeSantis broke the internet—that should tell you everything you need to know about the strength of his candidacy," per CNBC. Although DeSantis couldn't be heard for a while, Twitter employees were audibly complaining about the situation. "That was insane, sorry," Musk said after having to borrow another account because his crashed. Musk had told the audience Twitter's servers were straining under the demand.
Glitches or not, DeSantis' audio announcement lacked the usual trappings of a presidential campaign announcement—no soaring music, uplifting rhetoric, or cheering crowds. "I don't care about fanfare," he said. DeSantis promised his audience that come January 2025, "I will be taking the oath of office as the 47th president of the United States." Trump answered DeSantis with a couple of videos mocking the governor on Truth Social, as well as the gibe, "His collar is too big!" (Read more Ron DeSantis stories.)