As he launches his presidential campaign, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is being mocked for the choice of logo greeting visitors to his official website as he files the paperwork to officially become a candidate taking on former President Donald Trump.
The logo appears to be intended as a reference to Mr DeSantis’s home state of Florida, but Twitter users were quick to mock the choice of the logo as depicting a swamp creature after Mr Trump spent much of the 2016 campaign pledging to “drain the swamp” in reference to Washington, DC and railing against the “deep state”.
“Look, I’m doing my best to stay neutral (for now), but using a swamp creature as a teaser for your presidential campaign seems like quite the misstep,” Nick Sortor tweeted.
“Could this be the biggest communications blunder by Team DeSantis so far?” another Twitter user asked.
Far-right commentator Laura Loomer wrote: “So he’s admitting he’s a Swamp creature? Got it. I’m amazed at how s***y @GovRonDeSantis’s political instincts are… When he loses the primary, I’m going to eat some fried gator to celebrate.”
An adviser for Mr Trump previously told Fox News that “announcing on Twitter is perfect for Ron DeSantis” because “this way he doesn’t have to interact with people and the media can’t ask him any questions”.
One of Mr DeSantis’s supposed weaknesses compared to the former president, who’s more than 30 years his senior, is thought to be his lack of charisma and ability to personally connect with voters.
The Twitter Spaces event on Wednesday will be moderated by tech entrepreneur David Sacks, a supporter of the governor and an adviser to Mr Musk, according to NBC News.
The alligator image also appeared on Mr DeSantis’s Twitter account.
“DeSantis changed his Twitter banner to a swamp creature right before his Presidential bid announcement. You can’t make this stuff up,” one Twitter user said.
The Trump campaign released an ad slamming Mr DeSantis as a “swamp creature”.
Trump rolls out a new ad attacking Desantis as a “swamp creature.” pic.twitter.com/TnWTAh5BMp
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 24, 2023
Rick Wilson, a former Republican strategist who later turned on the party with his work at the Lincoln Project, wrote on Wednesday morning that “Today is the day Ron DeSantis emerges from his cocoon, blossoms into a beautiful butterfly, flutters around the forests of Elon, and then is eaten by a giant buzzard named Donald Trump”.
Far-right Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that Mr DeSantis “is not a serious candidate”.
“America First Republicans and MAGA have been loud and clear: President Donald J. Trump is the only candidate they want to send to the general election in 2024,” she added.
Joe Walsh, a former Illinois GOP Representative, told The Miami Herald that “I don’t want Donald Trump to be the nominee because I do consider him an existential threat”.
“I think most Never Trumpers would probably support DeSantis, even those who don’t like him and have reservations,” he added.
Lawyer Ron Filipkowski, a strong critic of Mr Trump and Mr DeSantis, told the paper that “I think DeSantis is just an a** and extreme right-winger who likes to play to the mob a little too much. But I don’t think DeSantis is going to pull us out of NATO or fire half the civil service”.
Reacting to those comments, Donald Trump Jr tweeted: “There’s only one candidate for President that the radical left and the establishment RINOs actually fear and his name is Donald J. Trump!”