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Ron DeSantis 2024 Presidential Candidacy Announcement with Elon Musk

Part of a series on DeSantis 2024. [View Related Entries]

Updated Aug 24, 2023 at 02:21PM EDT by Owen.

Added May 24, 2023 at 11:47AM EDT by Adam.

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Ron DeSantis 2024 Presidential Candidacy Announcement with Elon Musk refers to an announcement that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will declare his candidacy for the United States presidency in a conversation with Elon Musk hosted exclusively on Twitter Spaces on May 24th, 2023. Their conversation will be moderated by entrepreneur and investor David Sacks. The announcement of the event sparked widespread discussion on social media, with many expressing unfavorable views of DeSantis and Musk and others noting that they found it odd and a potentially poor campaign launch for DeSantis.


On May 23rd, 2023, NBC News[1] reported that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would announce his bid for the U.S. presidency the following evening in a conversation with Elon Musk hosted on Twitter Spaces, Twitter's platform for audio conversation. After the discussion, the DeSantis campaign said it would post a video making the announcement. The report states that despite participating in such a monumental event for DeSantis, Musk has not formally endorsed his candidacy.

The article also highlighted potential problems the unusual campaign launch could have for DeSantis. A Trump adviser told NBC News, "Announcing on Twitter is perfect for Ron DeSantis. This way he doesn’t have to interact with people and the media can’t ask him any questions." The article also mentioned that Musk's star power could outshine DeSantis and that while the event may ingratiate DeSantis with Musk's followers, it could also turn many potential voters off due to Musk's own controversies.


The news was not seen as a wise political move for DeSantis by some political commenters. On May 24th, 2023, Quartz[2] wrote the campaign announcement ceded "the two most important things in politics: attention and control." Others, including Vanity Fair,[3] were critical of Musk's involvement, saying it proved Twitter was purportedly platforming more right-wing politicians and extremists.

Online Reactions

In response to the announcement, many on social media who were fans of neither DeSantis nor Musk envisioned the event would be excruciating, and several echoed sentiments that it proved the hypocrisy of Musk's commitment to "free speech," considering some of Florida's recent laws banning discussion of non-hetero sexualities in schools and banning of books.

For example, on May 23rd, 2023, Twitter user @MehdirHasan[4] expressed doubt that Musk would "challenge" DeSantis with a joke that gained over 2,000 retweets and 15,000 likes in one day (shown below, left). Also that day, MSNBC journalist Chris Hayes[5] sarcastically quipped, "Two of the most charming, charismatic and relatable men you could possibly think of," gaining over 440 retweets and 7,500 likes in one day (shown below, right).

It'll be fascinating to hear Musk, the free speech absolutist, grill DeSantis on the latter's well-documented crackdowns in Florida on free speech, the free press, and books in their Twitter Spaces conversation. He'll grill DeSantis on free speech, right? Right? Mehdi Hasan @mehdirhasan Ri... 4:27 PM - May 23, 2023 Chris Hayes @chrislhayes Two of the most charming, charismatic and relatable men you could possibly think of. nbcnews.com Ron DeSantis will launch his presidential bid with Elon Musk The Florida governor will announce he is running for president on Twitter Wednesday evening in a conversation with Musk. 2:24 PM May 23, 2023 :

Others were also excited about the announcement. For example, Twitter user @MattWallace888[6] voiced excitement that such a big announcement was happening on Twitter and not a cable news outlet, gaining over 2,400 retweets and 17,000 likes in one day (shown below).

Matt Wallace @MattWallace888 It's HAPPENING! Elon Musk is Going To Put The Mainstream Media OUT OF BUSINESS! NOT on Fox News NOT on CNN NOT on MSNBC NOT on CBS NOT on NBC NOT on Any Cable Show Ron DeSantis is ANNOUNCING his 2024 Presidential Run ON A TWITTER SPACES Tomorrow WITH Elon Musk 3:32 PM May 23, 2023 ... .


The event was glitchy and widely criticized, leading the term DeSaster to trend online. The event was first hosted on Musk's Twitter account but could not effectively start, causing the trio to move the discussion to David Sacks' Twitter account. There, listeners peaked around 275,000, but David Sacks called it the "largest online group ever assembled," to which many pointed out that was factually inaccurate.

Afterward, the DeSantis War Room Twitter account posted a campaign video for the governor that was also widely mocked for featuring no music, poor audio, too many shots of Elon Musk, and recycled footage of DeSantis.

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