Starting more than 40 points back in some polls, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis needed all the momentum he could get coming out of the gate. However, the beginning of his presidential campaign was met with more of a stumble than a sprint.
On Wednesday evening, while looking to begin his campaign on the live audio streaming platform Twitter Spaces, the Desantis team ran into several technical malfunctions.
As the live stream began, the audio feed was met with feedback, outages, and garbled sound that made it difficult for DeSantis’ supporters to hear him.
The issues were reported to Twitter, as users said their apps were crashing and, in some cases, logging them out as they tried to join the event.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk commented on the event, noting that by 6:20 p.m. EST, there were more than 600,000 listeners in the Twitter Spaces, and another 50,000 joining every minute.
The audio event was moderated by David Sacks, a Republican donor, who shared during the stream that things were crumbling due to the demand on the platform’s servers.
“We got so many people here that we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign,” Sacks said.
Sacks went on to say that he thinks it “crashed because when you multiply a half-million people in a room by an account with over 100 million followers, which is Elon’s account, I think that creates just a scalability level that was unprecedented.”
Twenty minutes into the announcement, the stream was ended and restarted. Finally, 25 minutes after the event was meant to begin, the Florida Governor ended months of speculation and officially put his hat into the ring.
As for why Twitter Spaces threw a wrench into his announcement, some have pointed to Musk’s fall terminations as a reason for the stream crumbling, as the billionaire eliminated thousands of jobs in a way to cut spending and save money, as he claimed the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Cuts included reducing server costs by shutting down a data center in Sacramento, one of three it operates independently in the U.S., The Guardian reported.
Another possibility for DeSantis’s stream crashing could be that Spaces was never a finished product, according to one former Twitter employee who spoke with CNN.
“Spaces was largely a prototype, not a finished product,” the former employee told CNN. “It’s a beta test that never ended.”
Nonetheless, DeSantis was able to get his intended message out after months of Republicans calling for him to announce his candidacy.
During his speech, DeSantis pushed his “anti-woke” platform, which he says has been successful in his state of Florida.
“We will never surrender to the woke mob,” said the governor in his opening comments.
Former President Donald Trump remains DeSantis’s main roadblock to becoming the 2024 Republican nominee, and Trump has continued to bash the governor since announcing his campaign last November.
After Wednesday’s disastrous announcement, Trump didn’t wait to pounce on his rival, calling out the catastrophe and even accusing him of plagiarizing one of his past speeches.
“Amid a catastrophic failure to launch, Ron DeSantis announced his candidacy with ‘Great American Comeback,’ a phrase stolen from President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address,” Trump claimed in an email sent to Insider.
Trump was referring to when he said, “Three years ago, we launched the Great American Comeback,” during his 2020 address to Congress.
“Perhaps, the DeSantis communications staff was preoccupied attempting to extinguish the flames of their candidate’s announcement to come up with their own message,” Trump said in the email.
While Trump still holds a favorable lead over the younger DeSantis, an official campaign announcement could see a support shift among those in the party.