Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis officially launched his 2024 bid for the White House Wednesday, bringing what has been considered to be one of the strongest competitors against former President Donald Trump to the GOP field of candidates wanting the party nomination.
The 44-year-old Republican governor announced his decision with Twitter CEO Elon Musk on a group audio call hosted on Twitter Spaces, which was promoted as a one-of-a-kind event on social media and initially drew more than 600,000 listeners.
But technical issues delayed the scheduled start, and the audio for the event crashed repeatedly, making it difficult for listeners to track the conversation.
Musk blamed the spotty performance on Twitter's servers, which he said were "straining" under the demand from so many listeners.
The DeSantis campaign said that demand showed the extent of public appetite for DeSantis' platform.
On the call, DeSantis outlined his accomplishments and credentials, and called for a reestablishment of integrity in government institutions.
DeSantis criticized the Biden administration's border policies, "unconstitutional" vaccine mandates and the "ideological agenda" of the U.S. Military.
"American decline is not inevitable, it is a choice," he said. "And we should choose a new direction — a path that will lead to American revitalization."
SEE MORE: Full transcript: Fmr. VP Mike Pence's interview with Scripps News
DeSantis will join a field of candidates including Trump, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Alaska Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
DeSantis was endorsed by Trump in his campaign to become the governor of Florida and has enacted some of the same kind of populist policies that the former president supported. Six months ago DeSantis won reelection to the Florida governor's office by 19 percentage points and saw multiple major victories with policies he supported in the state.
DeSantis is a Florida native, who holds family roots from the U.S. Midwest. The new candidate for GOP nominee for president ran for Congress in 2012 and won a district in the Orlando area. He studied and played baseball at Yale University, and later went on to Harvard Law School and was a Navy Judge Advocate General officer. He served tours in Iraq and in Guantanamo Bay, where he worked at the detention camp.
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