Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to launch his 2024 presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces and the glitches that followed led to everything from blunt mockery to mild praise in pundit circles.
DeSantis officially announced his campaign in a Twitter Spaces audio only conversation with Twitter owner Elon Musk on Wednesday evening. He followed that up with an interview with Trey Gowdy on Fox News.
“Fox News will not crash during the interview,” Gowdy said during his interview with DeSantis, jokingly acknowledging the delays and technical glitches that came with the previous announcement.
“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough was not as light-hearted in his mockery, calling the event a "disaster."
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"It was bad. I mean, it was bad on so many fronts. But he raised some money; he got people talking about him today, not in a positive way," he said.
The former Republican congressman compared DeSantis to a ball player literally hitting himself in the face.
“This would be like the first game of 162-game baseball season, and your star pitcher getting the ball and accidentally throwing it and hitting himself in the face. It happens — but there’s 161 other games left,” he said on Thursday.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski called it a “missed opportunity.”
On “CNN This Morning,” senior political correspondent Abby Phillip called the launch a “missed opportunity” and predicted DeSantis will be judged based on “how he manages the overall ethos of this week.”
CNN political analyst Astead Herndon at another point said the technical issues people had with Twitter Spaces made the conversation predominantly about the social media platform, rather than the Florida governor.
“On the theater ... he really failed on that front. This kind of took over a moment that was supposed to be about Ron DeSantis and made it about Elon Musk and made about it Twitter,” he said.
"Fox & Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade asked network contributor Guy Benson if the launch made DeSantis “look bad” and Benson noted the announcement did get DeSantis plenty of attention and a boost in fundraising, but said his campaign might reconsider looking back.
“I think if they could do it all over again, they might reconsider the risky choice that they made or at least try and make sure that Twitter and that space was ready to handle that volume of attention and interest,” he said.
The governor being delayed due to technical issues is “not the first step this campaign was looking for,” he noted.
Kilmeade offered praise for the governor for being “really good unscripted,” praising his conversation with Gowdy following the Twitter Spaces launch.
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