The official announcement of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s 2024 presidential run on Twitter Spaces, which was fraught with technical difficulties, has led to a shift in allegiance among prominent Republican endorsements.
This development is likely to add fuel to the heated race within the Republican primary field, where DeSantis is poised to face former President Donald Trump.
The 44-year-old DeSantis officially launched his campaign on the social media platform on Wednesday, in a conversation with Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Twitter.
This long-awaited announcement marked the end of months of speculation, and at the same time, laid the groundwork for a potential face-off with Trump.
As part of his commitment as a presidential candidate, DeSantis promised to be an “energetic executive” focused on getting the job done and controlling federal agencies that he characterized as “totally out of control.”
He added that recent years have made him acutely aware of the “fragility of our freedoms,” a sentiment expressed during his discussion with Musk.
However, this significant event was not without its hiccups.
A delay of approximately 20 minutes due to high demand causing strain on Twitter Spaces servers opened up an opportunity for DeSantis’s adversaries to ridicule the commencement of his campaign.
This initial stumbling block had immediate consequences.
New Hampshire State Representative Sandra Panek, who had previously pledged her support for DeSantis, retracted her endorsement and shifted her support to Trump.
Speaking to the Tampa Free Press on Thursday, Panek stated, “After being less than impressed with Ron DeSantis’s official announcement last night, I am hereby switching my endorsement to President Donald J. Trump.”
Panek elaborated on her reasons for the shift, expressing doubts about DeSantis’s capabilities, considering the shortcomings of his campaign launch.
She said, “We can’t expect someone to run the country if they can’t properly run their own campaign launch. The stakes are simply too great in 2024 to take a chance on someone as unreliable as DeSantis — we need a proven winner like President Trump to take back the White House and Make America Great Again!”
In a similar vein, New Hampshire State Representative Juliet Harvey-Bolia amended her original “dual endorsement” of both Trump and DeSantis to support only Trump.
She announced, “I’m proud to announce my full endorsement for President Trump, and only Trump. He’ll keep us out of war and prosperous as he has in the past. Ron DeSantis will make a great candidate in 2028. I expect Republicans will unite behind President Trump.”
The unfolding drama within the Republican camp underscores the intense competition and complex dynamics leading up to the 2024 presidential election.
As it stands, the balance appears to be tipping in favor of Trump over DeSantis, at least among certain quarters of the party.