- Gov. Ron DeSantis’s campaign team held a donor briefing on Thursday at Four Seasons Hotel Miami.
- The event was held a day after the governor’s glitch-filled campaign announcement on Twitter.
- Members of the campaign team gave talking points on how to spin the Twitter meltdown.
Ron DeSantis’s supporters have been playing up the 2024 candidate’s fundraising haul after his glitch-filled presidential campaign launch on Twitter, but his team would have preferred if the servers didn’t have a meltdown in the middle of Wednesday’s announcement, leaked audio obtained by FloridaPolitics.com reveals.
During a donor briefing held on Thursday at the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, DeSantis’s campaign team responded to a question about the Twitter event that was supposed to kick off DeSantis’s highly anticipated 2024 presidential run.
Instead, the announcement was marred with crashes, awkward silences, and standby music as nearly 500,000 people attempted to tune in.
“We all know we definitely would have preferred that the internet had not broken, without question,” a member of DeSantis’s campaign team said in the audio. “We didn’t script it that way.”
The rocky launch quickly provided fodder for the governor’s main rival, Donald Trump.
“Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster,” Trump wrote on Truth, his social media platform. “WATCH!”
Trump’s responses also gave a preview of how AI technology will be used to attack candidates. In an Instagram post, Trump shared a video mocking the event by using AI-generated voices of Musk and DeSantis. Other characters featured were George Soros, Adolf Hitler, and “The Devil.”
But DeSantis’ camp has tried to downplay the technical hiccups of the event and focus on the money that was raised following the governor’s announcement. In 24 hours, the campaign raised more than $8 million through online donations and donors.
DeSantis spokespersons Bryan Griffin and Christina Pushaw shared a New York Times article reporting the numbers.
Overall, the campaign has cast the Twitter malfunction as a sign of overwhelming interest in a DeSantis presidential run. By Thursday afternoon, the campaign was selling merch about the event.
—Kimberly Leonard (@leonardkl) May 25, 2023
During the donor planning session and presentation, DeSantis’s campaign also provided a few perspectives and talking points to spin the Twitter event as a beneficial moment for the governor.
One team member surmised that most candidates would have “melted” under the pressure of people waiting for the announcement to kick off. He also supposed that most campaign teams would have had someone on the phone, speaking to a reporter and “leaking to throw someone under the bus” before the event was over “and that didn’t happen.”
Accounting for the extensive media coverage of the Twitter debacle, a DeSantis campaign team member concluded that the announcement was successful and argued that DeSantis was “willing to engage on substance” regarding policy.
“The goal last night was the largest reach possible and we achieved that,” he said.
A spokesperson for DeSantis did not return a request for comment.