GOP Rep. Chip Roy praised Ron DeSantis’ “obviously awkward” but otherwise “incredible” campaign launch on Twitter, as he brushed aside concerns that Donald Trump would lap up the Florida governor in Congressional approvals.
“I think it was actually amazing,” the Republican from Texas – one of a small group that backed the Capitol Hill governor – told reporters.
“I know it was obviously a bit awkward for 15 or 20 minutes, but you know, that’s what happens when you kind of want to break the status quo and do something different.”
DeSantis raised eyebrows when he chose to kick off the start of his campaign at a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk – rather than a traditional campaign launch in front of a crowd of supporters.
The highly anticipated start of his 2024 White House run started 26 minutes late and crashed multiple times as hundreds of thousands tuned in to listen to DeSantis’ conversation with the Twitter CEO .
GOP Rep. Chip Roy praised Ron DeSantis’ “obviously awkward” but otherwise “incredible” campaign launch on Twitter, as he brushed aside concerns that Donald Trump would lap up the Florida governor in congressional approvals
DeSantis raised his eyebrows when he opted to kick off the start of his campaign at a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk – rather than a traditional campaign launch in front of a crowd of supporters
Musk said at one point during the event that “the servers were overloaded” and the host blamed the problems on the number of people listening, which he said was a “good thing”.
“Just try to get things done,” listeners could hear as it became clear that frustration was mounting.
The DeSantis team presented Wednesday’s struggles in a new light – with the former governor saying he “broke the internet”.
“At the end of the day, they have 25 million impressions in the last 24 hours,” Roy said in agreement.
He brushed off concerns about the rocky start — and the governor’s polling numbers trailing far behind Trump’s.
“DeSantis has an amazing track record, a big message, a big vision. Overwhelming success on the ballot, strong conservative record, lots of people support him in Iowa. So he’s in a good place.
Along with Roy, four other people have endorsed DeSantis in the House so far — Reps. Rich McCormick, Ga., Laurel Lee, Fla., Thomas Massie, Ky., and Bob Good, Va.
McCormick told DailyMail.com: “Obviously the internet crashed, that’s not the only time it’s happened.” They probably could have foreseen this, but you know, that’s life. This will not affect the rest of the campaign.
No senator has yet come out in favor of the governor of Florida. More than 50 House members and 11 senators have pledged their support for Trump since he entered the race in November.
Roy dismissed concerns about the delay in congressional support for DeSantis, as he hinted that behind the scenes, his colleagues were supportive but worried about taking Trump’s revenge on themselves.
“Congressional approvals don’t really matter that much,” Roy said. “Do you think the average voter walks around, damn it, I really care what these guys who have a 17% approval rating say?”
Trump is “getting a lot of attention among people who are more concerned about re-election than, maybe, you know trying to find the candidate who could move the country forward,” Roy added.
Asked if he hears of more behind-the-scenes support, the congressman told DailyMail.com: “It would be something I won’t comment on because of private communications, but let’s just say that ‘There are a lot of people who generally support Gov. DeSantis.’
Matt Gaetz, one of Trump’s staunchest congressional supporters and a former close ally of DeSantis, wore a red MAGA hat to the Capitol on Thursday morning after the governor’s announcement.
In his home state, DeSantis’ support from elected officials is significantly better — the governor won the backing of 99 of Florida’s 113 GOP state lawmakers before entering the race, including the president. of the Senate Kathleen Passidomo and Speaker of the House Paul Renner.
He also won 37 endorsements from GOP state lawmakers in Iowa — a pivotal primary state for Republicans due to its early nationwide caucuses.
But reports have noted DeSantis’ popularity issue in Congress, despite having previously served as a House member.
Former Rep. David Trott, R-Mich., told Politico that he sat next to DeSantis during Foreign Affairs Committee hearings and that DeSantis never introduced himself or said hello.
“I think it’s a**hole,” Trott said. “I don’t think he cares about people.”
Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, endorsed Trump immediately after meeting with DeSantis.
“I met with Governor DeSantis, and while he did a commendable job in Florida, there is no doubt in my mind that President Trump is the only leader capable of saving America from the leftist onslaught. we are currently facing,” he said in a statement. .
While it’s too early to read much in the polls, Trump has a sizable lead over DeSantis by any measure — 54.3% versus 20.6 according to a FiveThirtyEight average of recent polls.