The hits just keep on comin’ for Meatball Ron.
A Republican megadonor very publicly said over the weekend that he “and a bunch of friends” were pausing plans to fund Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) inevitable run for president because of the governor’s love for banning books and abortion. And now some of his top donors are so mad that they shared photos of their group chat with Rolling Stone.
Florida donors who helped fuel DeSantis’ rise as an alternative to Donald Trump are getting increasingly concerned that the governor can’t beat Trump in a primary and are scrutinizing his moves in colorful language. The outlet reports that “participants exploded with alarm” last week when DeSantis was doing book tour stops while part of his state was underwater:
“What the fuck is wrong with RD?” one participant wrote after Desantis did not curtail his out-of-state publicity tour to return home amid massive flooding in the Fort Lauderdale area.
Another participant demanded to know who in the group could get in contact with Desantis most quickly to complain.
DeSantis did return home during the flooding...to sign a six-week abortion ban at 11 p.m.
The donors in the group chat wanted to remain anonymous, but Rolling Stone said it confirmed their identities and that “several of [them] have donated large sums toward DeSantis and enjoy extensive access in Florida GOP circles.” It’s pretty hilarious that they’re casually talking about how money gives them direct access to the governor. (Big Logan Roy “get me The Raisin” energy.)
One donor told the outlet that they’re desperate for him to put up more of a fight against Trump and called him a “damn wimp”:
Other donors have begged DeSantis’ close associates to convince the governor to stop being such a “damn wimp”—in the words of one DeSantis donor—with Trump, imploring him to hit back harder against Trump’s attacks, according to two donors to DeSantis. The governor is known for being stubborn and resistant to some of his allies’ calls for course correction, and he has insisted that he, strategically, knows best, people familiar with the matter say.
The governor’s attempts to knock Trump have been pretty pathetic, likely because he believes he needs Trump’s voters to win the primary and can’t hit 45 too hard. But he’s also doing crazy things that would hurt him in a general election, like signing that six-week abortion ban. And now the donor class is running to reporters to talk about “nervousness” and “panic” in DeSantis world.
Again, DeSantis hasn’t even said he’s running yet—but it sure seems like some of his rich friends are trying to squash him before he even announces.