Another major GOP donor rules Ron DeSantis out

DeSantis copy
'Why would I support somebody to become President that doesn't return phone calls?'

Ahead of a potential presidential campaign, Ron DeSantis continues to suffer reputational hits from the donor class.

The latest example of such comes from John Catsimatidis. The New York grocery magnate is worth $4.1 billion reportedly but grouses that Florida’s Governor isn’t interested in having conversations.

“Why would I support somebody to become president of the United States that doesn’t return phone calls?” the former DeSantis donor rhetorically asked the Washington Examiner, which first reported his discontent Friday.

“Why do people contribute to people? They want to have access and to be able to have a discussion. I have never in 30 years of doing politics asked anybody for anything or a personal favor. Never,” Catsimatidis said.

The Catsimatidis defection is just the latest example of a donor who has gone public with DeSantis disquiet.

According to The New York Times, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has been alienated by DeSantis’ framing of the Ukraine war as a “territorial dispute” in a statement provided to the now-canceled Tucker Carlson show on Fox News.

The state’s new six-week abortion ban, which DeSantis messaged about tentatively during political speeches, reportedly rankled the financier.

The Griffin report comes days after news that another significant donor, Thomas Peterffy, has begun to reevaluate DeSantis after the abortion ban and what The Guardian calls “book banning.” DeSantis says such reports are a “political narrative” and a “hoax.”

“I have put myself on hold. Because of his stance on abortion and book banning … myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry,” the CEO of Interactive Brokers said this month.

“I am more reluctant to back him,” Peterffy added. “We are waiting to see who among the Primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the General and then put all of our firepower behind them.”

While three donors may or may not be a meaningful trend, the defections parallel rough polling for the Florida Governor.

On Monday and Tuesday, an Emerson College poll in the field shows Donald Trump consolidating Republican support in a potential presidential race, with 62% of voters polled choosing the former President.

DeSantis was 46 points behind in second place, pulling 16% support — his worst showing in any national survey of the 2024 field in recent memory.

The Emerson poll is significantly worse for DeSantis than the FiveThirtyEight average of polls, which shows a Trump aggregate trend. The former President leads DeSantis 51% to 24% on average, with Pence at 6% and Nikki Haley at 4%.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Billy the Bamboozler

    April 28, 2023 at 9:58 am

    They are still all in for the orange ding dong who will only lose if he runs again. Then claim stolen election and try to whip up violence. He should be in a mental hospital. Trump should be Baker Acted.

  • Go Woke OR Go Broke!

    April 28, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Turns out racism, bigotry, homophobia, and fascism is bad for business. So of course Big Money is abandoning this clown.

  • John Barron

    April 28, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    DeSanctus is tanking!! Sinking like the Titanic!! Florida doesn’t want a double digit IQ dictator. Florida wants Trump!!

  • pedariw540

    April 29, 2023 at 8:46 am

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  • Bob Barquer

    April 29, 2023 at 9:47 am

    I cannot believe that in this entire country, the 2 republican front runners are psychopathic narcissists. Can the GOP not find a semi-normal republican to run???

    What a circus.

  • Dont Say FLA

    April 29, 2023 at 9:50 am

    It’s hilarious when Gross Old People complain about somebody not returning phone calls. Most people be like “What is a phone call?” To be clear, Ron Duh’s lack of return calls isn’t due to him being young or hip. Ron Duhsn’t return calls because he is a robot and Verizon doesn’t let his calls through.

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 30, 2023 at 1:21 pm

    Good afternoon Grocery Boy RINO John,
    Listen up Mr. PAPER OR PLASTIC:
    “Why would I support someone that wont return my phone calls”?
    To save the country from the leftists thats why Grocery Boy RINO John….. That’s why – you self loving NYC characture from a 1990’s Seinfield episode.
    Now get back to work Grocery Boy RINO John. Theres a spill on aisle 7 for you to clean up.
    Thank you Grocery Boy RINO John,
    Earl Pitts “RINO SPANKER” American

Comments are closed.


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