Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at The Heritage Foundation event in Maryland


  • The event was delayed for a good 25 minutes
  • DeSantis was unintelligible to his real-time listeners
  • He was joined by Twitter CEO Elon Musk and David Sacks

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States, stating in a disastrous Twitter announcement that he intends "to lead our great American comeback."

DeSantis filed the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission before joining an online conversation with Twitter CEO Elon Musk and tech investor David Sacks on Twitter. The audio stream of the virtual event, however, crashed repeatedly, making him generally unintelligible to his real-time listeners.

"American decline is not inevitable, it is a choice. And we should choose a new direction: a path that will lead to American revitalization," DeSantis said. "I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback."

In his speech, DeSantis painted a dark picture of a country he said is "going in the wrong direction," reminiscent of former President Donald Trump's "American carnage" inaugural address.

"We see it with our own eyes. And we feel it in our bones," he said of the decline.

"My pledge to you is this: If you nominate me, you can set your clock to January 20, 2025, at high noon because on the west side of the U.S. Capitol, I will be taking the oath of office as the 47th president of the United States," DeSantis added.

DeSantis also boasted his strong conservative credentials by taking swipes at the media, public health mandates, and the "woke Olympics" of the left. He also vowed to push back stronger on issues the Republican base is most invested in.

"When COVID happened, I had to make decisions about, 'do you go with the crowd? Or do you look at the data yourself and cut against the grain?' and I chose to do the latter," DeSantis said.

"My view was I had to look out for the people I represented, prefer protecting their jobs over trying to safeguard my own political hide, but it was very, very lonely in a lot of those decisions," he added.

However, unlike the former president, DeSantis did not directly criticize his most formidable nemesis in the race, except for an implied swipe directed at him that has already defined his usual rhetoric.

"There is no substitute for victory," he said. "We must end the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years."

With his formal entry into the race, DeSantis will face Trump, as well as former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, businessman Perry Johnson and conservative talk show host Larry Elder.

Musk called the event "groundbreaking" after technical issues hounded the stream several times, leading to several minutes of silence.

"We got so many people here that we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign," Sacks said.

Although many are thrilled with DeSantis' candidacy, he still has an uphill battle to overcome, with an overwhelming majority of potential GOP voters still prefer Trump to be the nominee in 2024.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks in Manchester