Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will share a virtual episode Wednesday night with Twitter owner Elon Musk as he kicks off his Republican presidential primary campaign, a spokesman for the governor told CNN.
The decision to make the announcement on the site’s audio platform, Twitter Spaces, in a discussion with Musk, who has a dedicated fanbase of his own, highlights DeSantis’ desire to gain the loyalty of right-wing influencers. as part of a larger bid to overtake former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination.
DeSantis was widely viewed as Trump’s most formidable primary challenger, but his standing has fallen — in polls and among concerned donors — after a series of unconvincing performances in the establishment. his campaign launch. By taking to Twitter to make the announcement, the 44-year-old Republican will seek to distinguish himself from the rest of the growing field, many of whom made their entries in more traditional settings.
Choosing to make his debut as a presidential candidate on Twitter is also a clear finger in the eye of the former president.
Before being banned from the social media platform in 2021 – before Musk’s takeover – Trump used the site for years to fight perceived enemies, various grievances and fuel his rise to MAGA activity. Musk reinstated the former president’s account when he took over Twitter last year, but Trump has since decamped to his own social media site, Truth Social. In his absence, DeSantis appeared intent on making his voice the loudest in Musk’s ear.
The announcement event, first reported by NBC News, will take place at 6 pm ET and will be hosted by tech entrepreneur and Musk ally David Sacks. CNN has reached out to Musk for comment. The tech titan publicly confirmed the event at a Wall Street Journal function on Tuesday.
“I’m going to interview Ron DeSantis, and he has an announcement to make. And it’s the first time something like this has happened on social media and there’s real-time questions and answers, no script,” Musk said, adding that he does not plan to endorse a candidate “at this time.”
Sacks is a major political donor and DeSantis booster. In 2021, he contributed more than $70,000 to the governor’s political committee.
Trump’s super PAC derided the choice of DeSantis’ venue for his announcement, calling it “one of the most botched campaign launches in modern history.”
“The only thing less relatable than a niche campaign launch on Twitter, was DeSantis’ after party at the uber elite Four Seasons resort in Miami,” said MAGA Inc. in a statement on Tuesday.
As CNN previously reported, the DeSantis team is planning an aggressive schedule and unconventional approach to a presidential campaign. The team designed an unpredictable, non-stop explosion of the political map designed to quickly get him in front of thousands of primary voters, stirring the pot and inviting differences between him and in the campaigns of his old rivals – Trump and President Joe Biden – according to people familiar with the planning.
DeSantis is expected to file papers declaring his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission this week, a Republican familiar with the matter told CNN, with a formal announcement planned for next week in his Florida hometown of Dunedin.
This story and headline have been updated.