Start of Ron DeSantis presidential campaign melts down in Twitter problems

A much-anticipated Twitter event in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis planned to announce his 2024 Republican presidential bid was repeatedly disrupted Wednesday when Twitter’s servers apparently could not handle the surge in traffic.

Some Twitter users reported that the app crashed as they tried to listen to the event where Twitter owner Elon Musk joined DeSantis for the announcement.

At times, DeSantis’ account appeared absent from the audio-only event on the feature known as Twitter Spaces. Metrics published by Twitter said that more than 600,000 were attempting to listen.

“We’re reallocating some of the server capability to be able to handle the load here. It’s really going crazy,” Musk said at one point.

DeSantis eventually was able to speak, about 20 minutes after the scheduled start, after Musk closed the initial Twitter Spaces event and started a second one on the app. That space attracted about 161,000 users, according to Twitter’s public-facing data, as DeSantis read a short speech.

“I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis’ opponents reveled in the problems. 

“Glitchy. Tech issues. Uncomfortable silences. A complete failure to launch. And that’s just the candidate!” Steven Cheung, spokesman for former President Donald Trump’s campaign, told NBC News.

President Joe Biden’s Twitter account posted a link to his own fundraising page, writing, “This link works.”

Former President Donald Trump seized on the event to launch attack ads on DeSantis, which he posted to his Twitter rival, Truth Social.

The DeSantis campaign, however, insisted that the technical problems showed how many people were flooding Twitter, eager for his campaign.

“Gov. DeSantis broke the internet — that should tell you everything you need to know about the strength of his candidacy,” a senior campaign official said.

DeSantis also released a launch video Wednesday evening, saying he was ready to lead a “Great American Comeback.”

“Our border is a disaster. Crime infests our cities. The federal government makes it harder for families to make ends meet. And the president flounders,” DeSantis said in the spot.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Dasha Burns, Jonathan Allen, Vaughn Hillyard and Daniel Arkin contributed.

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