Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Announce Presidential Run on Twitter Spaces Event Hosted by Elon Musk

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to announce his run for the presidency during a Twitter Spaces event on Wednesday evening, alongside Twitter’s executive chairman Elon Musk.[0] The announcement will follow an interview with Trey Gowdy on Fox News.[1] While Musk has not said if he plans to endorse anyone in the Republican race, he indicated a preference for a much more conciliatory candidate than DeSantis is likely to be.[2] Musk has met with DeSantis and has said he would back the governor if he ran for president, but has not formally endorsed a candidate.[3]

The move comes amid a moment of crisis for Twitter, which has floundered since Musk took over, rolling out mass layoffs and launching new projects amid runaway profit losses. Earlier, Musk had asserted that the corporation was incurring a loss of $4 million every day and implemented significant measures to reduce expenses, such as terminating more than 50% of the company’s employees.[4] For Musk, the upshot of DeSantis’s appearance will be increased visibility for Twitter.[4]

DeSantis has made bitter feuds a hallmark of his time leading Florida, a state once seen as a barometer of US politics but in the post-pandemic environment is trending into a hard-right state.[5] Some circles hailed him as a star for his disdain towards vaccine and mask mandates policies.[5] Last year, he won re-election with ease against an unimpressive Democratic opponent, portraying himself as a Trump-esque figure with fewer legal issues, despite once being a supporter of the former president.[5] DeSantis has gained hero status among a certain group of Republican voters due to his dispute with Walt Disney World regarding “wokeness,” his restriction of teachers’ teachings on American racism, and his acquisition of certain schools.[5] His critics accuse him of being a fanatic in his campaign against abortion rights and an autocrat in his refusal to promote transparency.[5]

Musk claimed he’s an ideological centrist belonging to neither major political party, but his rightward slide has been incontrovertible of late.[6] With the aim of reinstating “free speech” on the social media platform, Musk acquired Twitter and argued that the platform’s content moderation policies and enforcement actions discriminated against conservatives in an unjust and unequal manner.[3] Since closing the $44 billion deal and taking over in October, Musk has restored the accounts of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and Donald Trump, though the former president has yet to post on Twitter.[6] He has been vocal about his disdain for Democrats and progressives, actively participating in the far-right’s culture war against progressivism.[4]

Hosting DeSantis, Musk clarified that he was not taking any political sides.[7] Instead, he stated his intention to conduct interviews with politicians representing diverse political ideologies and aims to transform Twitter into a “community gathering space” where a broader range of organizations can release statements.[7] [8]

0. “Ron DeSantis for president: Is kicking off his campaign with Elon Musk a genius move—or idiotic?” Slate, 23 May. 2023, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/05/ron-desantis-for-president-elon-musk-genius-move-or-idiotic.html

1. “Two Consequential Questions before the Country” National Review, 24 May. 2023, https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/two-consequential-questions-before-the-country/

2. “Elon Musk Won’t Endorse A Presidential Candidate For Now—But Wants To Interview Them On Twitter” Forbes, 23 May. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/mollybohannon/2023/05/23/elon-musk-wont-endorse-a-presidential-candidate-for-now-but-wants-to-interview-them-on-twitter/

3. “Report: Ron DeSantis Will Formally Announce His 2024 Bid With Elon Musk, Because Apparently David Duke Wasn’t Available” Vanity Fair, 23 May. 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/05/ron-desantis-elon-musk-2024-announcement

4. “With DeSantis campaign event, Musk seeks to shore up a sinking Twitter” The Guardian, 24 May. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/may/23/with-desantis-campaign-event-musk-seeks-to-shore-up-a-sinking-twitter

5. “Ron DeSantis Twitter Launch Signals Culture-War Campaign” TIME, 24 May. 2023, https://time.com/6282255/ron-desantis-elon-musk-campaign-culture-war/

6. “Ron DeSantis is playing with fire launching a presidential bid alongside Elon Musk” Yahoo Life, 24 May. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/ron-desantis-playing-fire-launching-092000043.html

7. “With DeSantis bid, can Twitter recapture the political spotlight?” USA TODAY, 24 May. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2023/05/23/twitter-campaigns-for-political-spotlight-with-desantis-announcement-post-trump/70250126007/

8. “Musk says he wants someone “fairly normal” for president” Axios, 24 May. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/05/23/elon-musk-2024-presidential-campaign

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