Former President Donald J. Trump called it a “disaster,” President Biden’s campaign took a sly shot to raise a little extra cash, and low-polling Republicans tried to use Gov. Ron DeSantis’s glitchy, delayed campaign rollout to steal some attention for themselves.
As technical difficulties derailed Mr. DeSantis’s attempt to make a splash by appearing in a Twitter livestream with the platform’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk, much of the internet couldn’t resist poking fun — including the two leading presidential candidates and other trailing wannabes.
The mix of 26 minutes of mostly dead air, followed by an intermittent celebration of Mr. Musk, made the livestream feel “a bit like an ad for Twitter,” Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former Trump administration official who has turned sharply against Mr. Trump, wrote on Twitter. Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, a Trump ally, called his governor “DeSedative.”
But perhaps nobody enjoyed the stumbling start to Mr. DeSantis’s presidential bid more than his current and potentially future rivals.
Mr. Trump — still shunning Twitter in favor of his Truth Social platform — called the DeSantis announcement a “catastrophe.” “His whole campaign will be a disaster,” he added. “WATCH!”
On Instagram, Mr. Trump posted a satirical video of a fake Twitter Spaces event that included Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Musk, the liberal philanthropist George Soros, former Vice President Dick Cheney, the Devil and Adolf Hitler, among others.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Biden’s campaign took a more understated approach: “This link works” it wrote, pointing to a site where supporters could make donations.
Mr. DeSantis received support from some corners of the right-wing media universe. Ben Shapiro, the podcast host with more than five million Twitter followers, suggested the technical meltdowns were a distraction from what Mr. DeSantis was trying to say.
“If you’re obsessed with the optics of the Twitter Spaces glitch, then you’re probably not going to vote DeSantis,” Mr. Shapiro wrote. “If you’re interested in political substance, DeSantis is likely your candidate.”
And some of the other attention-starved, low-polling Republican White House hopefuls tried snagging some of the rubbernecking attention for themselves.
Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas took a similar approach to Mr. Biden, writing — on Twitter, of course — “Just like my policies, this link works,” with a link to his donations page. And Vivek Ramaswamy accused Mr. DeSantis of sitting for softball interviews and what sounded like reading prepared remarks.
“Challenge to the GOP field,” Mr. Ramaswamy wrote on Twitter. “No pre-written speeches. No teleprompters. No pre-scripted interviews. That’ll be good for authenticity, good for America. I promise to abide.”