Initially scheduled to begin at 6 pm ET, the event was plagued by issues such as users being kicked off the chat, feedback noise, and hot-mic whispers. Eventually, around 6:30 pm, DeSantis commenced the event by declaring his candidacy for the United States presidency, stating his intention to lead the country’s great American comeback.
The Twitter audience was not the only group that kept waiting. The DeSantis campaign had also invited prominent donors to a fundraising event in Miami, where they had gathered at the Four Seasons conference space to watch the Twitter discussion on a large screen. The delay in starting the event led to an awkward situation for the campaign. Trying to take a light-hearted approach, DeSantis’ campaign sent out a tweet, acknowledging the internet-breaking excitement and encouraging people to donate while they waited.
Naturally, social media users seized the opportunity to have some fun, with the hashtag #DeSaster trending on Twitter throughout the entire night. To resolve the technical issues, the event was moved from Elon Musk’s Twitter account to that of David Sacks, a tech investor and associate of Musk. Musk attributed the glitches to the massive number of online participants, stating that the servers were strained. He later admitted that his account was causing the system to malfunction.
Despite the initial hiccups, the event gained traction as over 3 million people tuned in to the discussion, as evidenced by a retweet shared by Musk. While critics like Steven Cheung, a spokesman for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, mocked the event’s glitches and perceived failure to launch, DeSantis delivered a strong performance, outlining why he could secure the Republican presidential nomination over Trump and defeat Joe Biden in the general election. He emphasized his broad acceptability among Republicans and his ability to appeal to independents based on his successful track record.
DeSantis highlighted his victory in the Republican primary, where he secured 97 percent of the Republican vote. He emphasized the need to win over independent voters and cited examples of other Republican governors, such as Brian Kemp of Georgia and Kim Reynolds of Iowa, who successfully won reelection by attracting a diverse voter base.
Acknowledging Trump’s high poll numbers and name recognition, DeSantis stated that most Republicans had not yet focused on the upcoming race. He expressed confidence in his campaign, citing the significant number of local endorsements he had received in early primary states, surpassing any previous candidate’s endorsement count.
DeSantis also differentiated himself from Trump on specific policy issues, including his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants and his stance against excessive government spending. He emphasized his commitment to building a border wall and mentioned his effective response to Hurricane Ian as an example of his ability to overcome challenges and cut through bureaucratic red tape.
Furthermore, DeSantis expressed his support for cryptocurrencies and individual freedom, stating that as president, he would protect the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. He criticized Washington politicians for attempting to regulate cryptocurrencies due to their fear of losing control over them.
Despite the substance of DeSantis’ policy positions, the mainstream media predominantly focused on the technical glitches of the event rather than the content and ideas presented. While the event certainly had its share of setbacks, it also showcased DeSantis’ resilience and ability to adapt to challenging situations. The fact that the discussion gained momentum and attracted millions of viewers despite the initial hurdles demonstrated the genuine interest and curiosity surrounding DeSantis’ candidacy.
Beyond the event itself, DeSantis has been steadily building a strong campaign foundation. With a significant campaign coffer and a successful fundraising event in Miami, he has been able to garner support from prominent donors. His fruitful visit to Iowa secured endorsements from more than three dozen Republican state legislators and further solidified his standing as a serious contender.
Comparisons to past elections, such as the case of Ted Cruz in 2016, serve as a reminder that early endorsements and poll numbers do not always determine the final outcome. DeSantis recognizes the importance of a broad coalition and winning over independent voters. He aims to position himself as a candidate who can unite the party while appealing to a wider range of voters, including those who may not typically align with the Republican Party.
Despite the media’s focus on Trump’s dominance in the polls, DeSantis remains confident that there is room for him to make an impact. He believes that many Republicans have yet to fully engage with the race and that polls can be unreliable, as evidenced by his unexpected reelection victory. The extensive endorsements he has received from state legislators in key early primary states like New Hampshire, Iowa, and Florida provide further evidence of his growing support.
DeSantis’ willingness to differentiate himself from Trump on certain policy issues demonstrates his independent thinking and the ability to maintain his stance. He highlights areas where he diverges from Trump’s positions, such as opposition to amnesty and excessive government spending. By doing so, DeSantis aims to appeal to a wider range of voters looking for a candidate with a distinct vision and policy approach.
As the campaign progresses, DeSantis plans to focus on key issues that resonate with voters, including border security, economic recovery, and individual freedoms. He sees himself as a problem-solver who can cut through bureaucratic red tape and deliver results, as demonstrated by his efficient response to Hurricane Ian and his commitment to building a border wall.
While the media may continue to sensationalize the glitches and technical difficulties of DeSantis’ Twitter Spaces event, it is essential to look beyond the surface and evaluate the substance of his campaign. DeSantis has demonstrated resilience, strong support from Republican legislators, and a compelling vision for the country’s future.