Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) officially launched his presidential campaign in a Twitter Space hosted by Elon Musk on Wednesday. The event was beset with technical difficulties.
The Twitter Space took roughly 20 minutes to start due to numerous issues and included long periods of silence, DeSantis temporary disappearing, and hushed commentary from a frustrated Musk over the problems.
DeSantis’ critics on both the left and right immediately seized on the disastrous launch of his 2024 presidential campaign.
Over on Truth Social, former President Donald Trump, currently the favorite for the upcoming Republican primary, wrote numerous posts mocking DeSantis.
In the most viral example, Trump shared a fabricated video that purported to show DeSantis in a Twitter Space with the devil, Adolf Hitler, the FBI, and George Soros.
The satirical video claimed that former Vice President Dick Cheney and Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum were also in the chat.
President Joe Biden also got in on the fun by jokingly sharing a link he promised actually worked. The link was to donate to his presidential campaign.
Even Fox News roasted the event.
“Much-hyped Ron DeSantis presidential announcement a disaster on Twitter,” one Fox News headline read.
Fox News went one step further by adding a breaking news alert that promised viewers could see DeSantis on their network without issue.
“PROGRAMMING ALERT: Want to actually see and hear Ron DeSantis? Tune into Fox News at 8 p.m. ET,” the alert read.
David Sacks, a DeSantis supporter and friend of Musk who moderated the Twitter Space, responded to the criticism by claiming the platform did “great” hosting so many people at once. At one point there were several hundred thousand people in the chat room.
“@GovRonDeSantis announced he’s running for president on Twitter,” Sacks tweeted. “This was by far the biggest room ever held on social media. Twitter performed great after some initial scaling challenges. Thanks Twitter Team for adapting so quickly to make history!”
Many online refuted Sacks’ claim, however. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was quick to note that a livestream of her playing a video game garnered more viewers.
“We had more people join when I played Among Us,” she wrote.
Several Twitter employees subsequently told the New York Times that the company did not prepare for “site reliability issues” ahead of DeSantis’ announcement.
Musk himself acknowledged the problems during the event.
“That was insane, sorry,” he said.