Gov. Ron DeSantis will announce a run for president on Wednesday in a Twitter Spaces session with the company’s outgoing CEO Elon Musk, a campaign official confirmed to POLITICO.
Florida’s 44-year-old governor’s entry into the race will immediately shake up a Republican primary that has been dominated by former President Donald Trump. DeSantis comes to the contest with more than $110 million ready to be spent by supportive PACs, endorsements in early voting states and consistent polling as the top — but distant — alternative to Trump.
DeSantis will focus his election message on battling the “woke” left, and will seek to persuade Republicans that Trump cannot withstand a race against President Joe Biden.
As DeSantis announces his much-anticipated campaign, donors who support him are gathering at the Four Seasons in Miami.
Musk retweeted an alert about DeSantis’ Wednesday night appearance, and Casey DeSantis — the governor’s wife — tweeted, “Big if true.”
Shortly after the Wednesday Twitter Spaces event, DeSantis will be interviewed by former congressmember Trey Gowdy on Fox News at 8 p.m., according to the network.
The move is designed to afford DeSantis control over his announcement as he prepares to battle one of the most pugnacious figures in American politics. And Trump’s team immediately took note.
“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,” a Trump adviser, who shared the comment anonymously, said in response to the news.
The campaign official did not immediately respond to the remark.
DeSantis has been visiting early-voting states on a book tour, and recently enjoyed a warm reception in Iowa, which holds the country’s first caucus of the primary.
But months leading up to his rollout have been defined by Trump’s attacks on his personality, record and strength as a candidate — and the ex-president’s team immediately pounced on news of his plans, which were first reported by NBC and confirmed by a DeSantis spokesperson. Twitter Spaces is the social media site’s audio gathering platform.
Two other GOP candidates — Trump and Tim Scott — announced their campaigns at in-person events.
News of DeSantis’ announcement follows intense speculation about whether he would announce his campaign to donors in Miami or in his hometown of Dunedin, Fla. next week.
There were signs of hurried organization. In an email sent out to reporters by DeSantis’ team shortly after the NBC story posted, “March 24” instead of “May 24” was advised for the Twitter spaces event.
On Tuesday afternoon, the website RonDeSantis.com featured a black page with an illustration of an alligator waiting in the water.
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