As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was formally announcing his candidacy for president on Twitter on May 24, his top Republican rival for the job shared his own message to voters via social media: “There’s only one Donald Trump.”
In two campaign ads shared to Trump’s Truth Social account, DeSantis is depicted as an ungrateful “Trump imposter” who should be thanking the former president, not running against him.
Recounting how DeSantis sought the former president’s endorsement of his 2018 run for governor, the voiceover in one ad notes: “Trump’s endorsement was so powerful, just days after the endorsement, DeSantis took a commanding lead that propelled him to being elected governor. … Unfortunately, instead of being grateful, DeSantis is now attacking the very man who saved his career. Isn’t it time DeSantis remembers how he got to where he is?”
Meanwhile, the second ad implies DeSantis is a “Washington-established” politician who is trying to be “just like Donald Trump.”
“The truth? There’s only one Donald Trump,” the ad notes.
Touting Trump’s presidential accomplishments like tax cuts, appointing conservative judges, and building the border wall, the ad asks, “Why would we ever settle for Trump imposters?”
DeSantis Makes His Case
DeSantis’ formal campaign announcement was delayed Wednesday night due to technical issues with Twitter’s “Spaces” platform as more than 600,000 people tuned in to hear his pitch for why he should be the next president.
“I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” DeSantis told Twitter owner Elon Musk after all the glitches had been resolved.
“America’s decline is not inevitable, it is a choice,” he added. “And we should choose a new direction—a path that will lead to American revitalization.”
In his remarks, DeSantis positioned himself as the candidate who could “restore sanity” to the United States and end the “culture of losing” he said had infected the Republican Party in recent years.
“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, no excuses. I will get the job done.”
Trump Camp Unimpressed
Despite the confusion that preceded DeSantis’ announcement, the governor’s team opted to take the repeated crashes of Twitter’s servers as a positive sign.
“There was so much enthusiasm for Governor DeSantis’ vision for our Great American Comeback that he literally busted up the internet,” wrote Bryan Griffin, a DeSantis spokesman, in a tweet. “Washington is next. $1 million raised online in one hour … and counting!”
Those in the Trump camp, however, took to social media to poke fun at the technical problems.
On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr. summed up the situation in just one word: “#DeSaster.”
Meanwhile, in another video posted to Truth Social, the former president juxtaposed the launch against his own campaign announcement at Mar-a-Lago in November, switching back and forth between clips of the glitching audio of DeSantis’ announcement and his own rally-like speech.
Echoing his son’s sentiments in another post, he wrote: “Wow! The DeSanctus TWITTER launch is a DISASTER! His whole campaign will be a disaster. WATCH!”