DeSantis megadonor still not sold on presidential bid, saying his 'ongoing battle with Disney' is 'pointless'

Authored by and submitted by Chronepsisix
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Ron DeSantis' biggest 2022 donor, Ken Griffin, is still refusing to back his presidential bid.

The GOP billionaire says DeSantis is waging a "pointless" battle with Disney.

"It's not clear to me what voter base he is intending to appeal to," said Griffin.

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Ron DeSantis still hasn't secured the support of Ken Griffin, the Republican billionaire who was the biggest donor to the Florida governor's 2022 re-election campaign.

"I don't know his strategy," Griffin said in an interview with CNBC. "It's not clear to me what voter base he is intending to appeal to."

Griffin, the CEO of the multinational hedge fund Citadel, gave $5 million to DeSantis' re-election effort. And he told POLITICO in an interview last November that he was ready to support the governor's presidential campaign, saying that "our country would be well-served by him as president."

But Griffin has been apparently dissatisfied with the way DeSantis' campaign has been run, and his comments in the CNBC interview are his most definitive to date.

"First-term governor -- just a phenomenal job," said Griffin. "But that hasn't been how this last few months has played out."

"The ongoing battle with Disney I think is pointless," Griffin continued. "In fact, it doesn't reflect well on the ethos of Florida."

Griffin, who's been public about his antipathy towards former President Donald Trump, also said he had still not decided which candidate to back in the 2024 Republican primary.

The DeSantis campaign did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The governor has been waging a battle against the entertainment giant for well over a year, revoking the company's self-governing status in Disney World in April 2022 over the company's opposition to Florida's Parental Rights in Education Law — dubbed "Don't Say Gay" by critics.

Disney has since sued the State of Florida, alleging that DeSantis has tried to "weaponize government power" over the company.

DeSantis later told CNBC that he has "basically moved on" from the feud.

The Florida governor has since struggled to break through as a presidential candidate, with former President Donald Trump leading the field by a substantial margin.

According to recent polling averages, DeSantis currently has the support of somewhere between 12 to 15% of Republican primary voters nationwide.

Correction: September 18, 2023 — An earlier version of this story said that Griffin had dropped his support of DeSantis and would sit out the 2024 primary. It has been updated to reflect that Griffin has never supported DeSantis' presidential campaign, and remains undecided about supporting another candidate.

myveryowname1234 on September 18th, 2023 at 15:59 UTC »

He doesnt give a fuck about the battle with Disney. Hes just mad DeSantis' poll numbers suck.

TheBirminghamBear on September 18th, 2023 at 15:47 UTC »

DeSantis truly pissed away an extraordinary opportunity and it's incredible to see.

He had a lock on the donor class. He had put together a huge network of GOP donors.

His primary political opponent is facing 91 felony charges and has a not-zero chance of being in fucking jail by 2024.

And this dumb dick flubbed it with a year to go.

koopolil on September 18th, 2023 at 15:46 UTC »

This is the big one, it pretty much seals the deal that it’s over for DeSantis.