Since news broke that Ron DeSantis would announce his 2024 presidential campaign on Twitter Spaces through the embarrassing technical failures that clouded the launch, right-wing media have heaped praise on DeSantis and Twitter CEO Elon Musk for their collaboration.
On May 23, the Associated Press reported that the Florida governor would be announcing his presidential campaign on a Twitter Spaces chat with owner Elon Musk. Both Musk and David Sacks — a fellow right-wing billionaire tech investor and political operative who moderated the announcement — have publicly expressed support for DeSantis’ candidacy in the past. In the lead-up to DeSantis' campaign launch, and amid uncertainty about cable news’ waning influence, right-wing figures praised his unconventional approach and Twitter's new CEO Linda Yaccarino called it “history in the making!”
But the “historic” announcement quickly became a historic joke, as extensive technical difficulties on the ill-supported platform resulted in what’s being described as a “failure to launch.” As CNN’s Oliver Darcy noted, the audience was modest by cable news standards, yet Twitter struggled to handle it:
Carlson averaged 3 million concurrent viewers on his Fox News show. How will Twitter support an audience like that — especially with video?
Musk created a safe space for DeSantis on Twitter, allowing only right-wing figures including affiliates and advisers of DeSantis to ask questions — and it was still a disaster. Yet various right-wing figures continued to celebrate DeSantis as a promising candidate, praising him and Musk for “doing something new.”
Right-wing media figures praised DeSantis for his candidacy and his use of Twitter Spaces ahead of the announcement
In response to the news that DeSantis would be announcing his presidential candidacy on Twitter, some right-wing figures called the move “extremely cool” and “brilliant,” praising both DeSantis and Musk:
- Newsmax host Eric Bolling called DeSantis’ decision to launch on Twitter “a brilliant strategy,” adding, “I think it's fantastic — you’ll get all the younger voters involved.”
- Rumble’s Dave Rubin tweeted, “This is how you change the game.” Later, as a guest on Fox News, Rubin said the approach is “actually extremely cool” compared to Trump’s announcement at “uber elite” and “super rich” Mar-A-Lago. He explained, “The idea that Elon Musk is gonna sit down with DeSantis, do this Twitter Spaces, that’s gonna blaze us to the new world we’re all trying to get to.”
- Right-wing conspiracy theorist and Musk fan boy Matt Wallace tweeted, “It’s HAPPENING! Elon Musk is Going To Put The Mainstream Media OUT OF BUSINESS!”
- Right-wing account End Wokeness tweeted, “Less than a year ago, Twitter was banning people for posting accurate facts about COVID, vaccines, crime, and biology. Now we have Tucker bringing his show and DeSantis launching his campaign on here. A truly stunning turnaround by Elon Musk in such a short time.”
- Hours before the Twitter Spaces event, former Trump lawyer and radio host Jenna Ellis tweeted, “@RonDeSantis for President is officially a go for launch.”
Even after the glitch-filled announcement, right-wing media figures praised DeSantis and Musk
Some in the right-wing media field tried to spin it by saying DeSantis “broke the internet” and applauded his use of Twitter Spaces:
- Right-wing conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich and radio host Dana Loesch both tweeted that DeSantis “broke the internet” after there was a long period of technical delay on the announcement stream.
- Cernovich also mocked The Federalist’s David Marcus for calling the Twitter Spaces delays “embarrassing” by tweeting, “yeah 500,000+ live people waiting for DeSantis to arrive = huge L. Where do you guys come up with this stuff?”
- Babylon Bee’s Seth Dillion tweeted, “Strained servers were a disruption, but that's not a bad problem to have; it means you've drawn an audience.”
- Ian Miles Cheong tweeted, “It speaks volumes that not a single other presidential candidate—on either the left or the right—has stepped up to the plate like Ron DeSantis has to engage in free discussion on Twitter Spaces. The invitation is open.” Cheong also praised DeSantis for having “groundbreaking” conversations with the public via Twitter Spaces.
Other right-wing figures downplayed the frequent delays and issues in the Twitter Spaces stream, arguing that the “substance” of what DeSantis was saying is the most important factor:
- Following the campaign announcement, Daily Wire host Ben Shapiro claimed: “Tonight was a perfect encapsulation of the campaign. If you're obsessed with the optics of the Twitter Spaces glitch, then you're probably not going to vote DeSantis. If you're interested in political substance, DeSantis is likely your candidate.”
- Although Fox News contributor Byron York conceded that there were “lots of glitches,” he said that “it was actually substantive and interesting.”
- The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway argued, “The topic quality on independent Twitter Spaces tonight was about 1 million times better than the topic quality Democrat CNN pushed for its Town Hall.”
- BlazeTV’s Dave Rubin tweeted in praise of DeSantis’ conversation with Musk and Sacks about the Florida-Disney relationship, saying that DeSantis has “evened the playing field” and “the candidates criticizing him for that are corporatists not conservatives.”
Right-wing media also praised Musk for the Twitter Spaces stream following what many have labeled a “disaster” scenario for both the platform and DeSantis’ presidential launch:
- Washington Free Beacon’s Brent Scher tweeted, “Hell of a recovery for this Twitter space, turned into a pretty cool open-ended convo.”
- Loesch offered her congratulations to Musk, tweeting, “Thank you, @elonmusk for doing something new by hosting this discussion!”
- Rubin praised Musk for helping to build “the new rails” of media and enabling “more actual honest conversation in the last few minutes than CNN has put on in years.”