Ron Desantis, the controversial US governor behind Florida's so-called 'Don't Say Gay' law, is set to launch his presidential campaign in a streamed conversation with Elon Musk
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is set to launch his 2024 US presidential campaign on Wednesday. The 44-year-old Republican has long been seen as former president Donald Trump’s leading Republican rival.
DeSantis plans to announce his decision in an online conversation with Twitter owner Elon Musk, according to the Associated Press.
The audio-only event will be streamed on Twitter Spaces beginning at 6 pm EDT. He will follow up with a round of prime-time appearances on conservative programs, including Fox News and Mark Levin’s radio show.
DeSantis has embraced Trump’s combative style and many of his policies but casts himself as a younger and more electable version of the former president.
In choosing Twitter, DeSantis is taking a page out of the playbook that helped turn businessman-TV celebrity Trump into a political star. And while it is common for campaigns to publicise their announcements in videos shared on social media, it is far more unusual — and perhaps unprecedented — to hold a campaign announcement in a live social media forum.
DeSantis has emerged as an unapologetic Republican leader on controversial cultural issues.
The governor sent dozens of immigrants from Texas — by way of Florida —to a small island off the Massachusetts coast to draw attention to the influx of Latin American immigrants trying to cross the Southern border. He also signed and then expanded a Parental Rights in Education bill — known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” law — which bans instruction or classroom discussion of LGBTQ+ issues in Florida public schools for all grades.
More recently, he signed a law banning abortions at six weeks, which is before most women realise they’re pregnant. And he removed an elected prosecutor who vowed not to charge people under Florida’s new abortion restrictions or doctors who provide gender-affirming care.