Exclusive: Donors fret whether Ron DeSantis abortion ban will turn off pro-choice backers

One donor-attendee suggested reminding contributors that 'abortion is safe, legal and rare in Florida.'

Supporters of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential ambitions fretted at a donor dinner about his stance on abortion. That’s according to audio obtained exclusively by Florida Politics.

Supporters gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami shortly after the Florida Republican launched his presidential campaign. The audio shows that during the meeting, many expressed concern about the state banning abortions six weeks into pregnancy.

“My Republican friends who have daughters and wives are upset,” one donor stated.

Pollster Ryan Tyson acknowledged the issue could prove divisive, but said DeSantis already showed the ability to address the matter. He pointed not to a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk generating headlines, but to an interview with Fox News host and former Congressman Trey Gowdy. There, DeSantis suggested the issue largely rests with states.

Tyson called that the best position for a Republican to hold on the issue politically.

“His position is while he understands that there are ways that the federal government can be helpful to preserve life,” Tyson said, “the best way that you will preserve life is at the state level.”

But some feared that the Florida law may prove so extreme that it damages Republicans in the General Election. Some supporters said DeSantis had potential to reach moderate voters, but that could be more complicated after he signed a heartbeat bill.

“I’m just looking for some talking points to get more dollars,” the supporter said.

A donor in the room’s response on that could prove jarring to social conservatives.

“Abortion is safe, legal and rare in Florida,” he said, using a phrase popularized by Democratic President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

“It (abortion) is legal in Florida. It has not been banned. Most abortions occur with a chemical, with a Plan B, at this point. When you are talking to a pro-choice donor, I don’t think just go lie. I say, look, abortion is legal in Florida.”

Tyson said DeSantis needs to win the Primary, where pro-life voters have a larger say on who wins delegates, before he can worry about the General Election. But staff also said candidates in the modern political climate can’t waver on every position.

“We don’t tell our candidate what his principles should be,” a staffer says.

“That’s not how it works. Our candidate, our Governor, he is who he is. … I totally understand how difficult that is when you’re talking to a pro-choice donor. I get that. Sorry. One of the things I’ve said for a long time is if we want a man in the White House capable of standing up to Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, we want him to be able to stand up to donor pressure on issues that are difficult.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    May 26, 2023 at 9:55 pm

    DeSantis’s six week abortion policy is only one of a myriad of reasons why independent voters like myself will never vote for DeSantis…. or any MAGA Republican. We need to make big changes in America and we won’t accomplish them with obstructionist Republicans screwing things up at every turn. Throwing money in the direction of any Republican candidate is a waste of money.

    Republicans are America’s biggest problem!

    Vote all Republicans out of office.

  • Linwood Wright

    May 26, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    LOL, is this a real question? Of course it has.
    When he signed that Draconian abortion ban he also signed away his chances at becoming President. And donors know that.

    Any money donated to DeSantis is money that may as well be lit on fire.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 27, 2023 at 9:07 am

      At least we all get the pleasure of watching spoiled rich kid Elon Musk throwing his inherited fortune down yet another bottomless hole. It’s great entertainment, watching a loser Never Back Down.

  • Michael K

    May 27, 2023 at 12:24 am

    Controlling women’s bodies – controlling any persons body- is an extreme, unpopular, and anti-democratic intrusion of privacy. Of course he supports a total ban, but is too deceitful snd cowardly to admit it.

    • Fear of a Black Planet.

      May 27, 2023 at 10:23 am

      Abortion bans are just white people’s Fear of a Black Planet. People like Ron DeSantis are scared the abortion is happening because his woman was enjoying one of Florida’s pythons. Ron wants see what that baby looks like. Fear of a Black Planet. That’s all there is to it.

  • Christians Are A Gun Cult

    May 27, 2023 at 7:05 am

    MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday called on Hispanic people in Florida to vote against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who launched his 2024 White House bid the day before, because of his immigration policies.
    “Hopefully Hispanics in Florida will wake up and not give him one single vote, to not vote for those who persecute migrants, those who don’t respect migrants,” López Obrador said.

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 27, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Good morning to all of Ron’s “fretting” donors,
    “My, Earl Pitts American’s, Big ‘Ole 8utt”, I’m mad as #3II if anyone [other than dook 4 brains lefties] thinks there is an ounce of truth to this piece of “journalism”.
    So just in case there really are one or two of Ron’s doners out there in the universe actually “fretting” about Ron’s stand on baby killing let me, Earl Pitts American, help you to free your mind of any fretting.
    There are ZERO people who are going to allow abortion to change their minds for the 2024 vote. It is what it is, the stage is set already for 2024.
    If Ron modifies his position on abortion to allow more baby killing he will loose more votes from the right than he would fictionally gain from the left. Again the stage is set. We march forward to victory with what we got.
    Again America: “Donors Fretting About Abortion”??? My, Earl Pitts American’s, Big ‘Ole 8utt”
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “Most Hated Most Loved Truth Teller” American

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 27, 2023 at 10:20 am

      Earl if Ron changing his abortion ban from 6 weeks back to 15 weeks where he put it last time, if that meant losing voters from the right, why isn’t Ron’s move from 15 to 6 week going to lose Ron any Independent voters? I’ll tell you why: Because it already happened. Ron already lost Independents by moving 9 more weeks in the extreme direction than he had Florida at with his 15 week ban before he flop-flopped from 15 to 9. Yes flop flop. 9 and 15, they’re both flops.

      • Earl Pitts American

        May 27, 2023 at 1:37 pm

        Because Independent and dook 4 brains leftist mean the exact same thing. Thats the “why” answerbto your question.

        • Dont Say FLA

          May 27, 2023 at 3:16 pm

          Thanks much, EPA. I think understand. Is this correct? A theoretical move to the left would lose voters from the right, but Ron DeSantis’ real move to the right did not lose any voters at all because Independents are dook 4 brains. I do appreciate the clarification. Thank you! But what about the RINOs? Are their votes gained or lost through any moves?

          • Earl Pitts American

            May 27, 2023 at 9:58 pm

            Thank you Dont Say,
            The answer in regards to the RINO’s is the same answer which applies to Independants, NPA’s, and 3rd Party voters.
            And the answer is: All the groups named above are dook 4 brains lefties. They only pretend to be somerhing else.
            Thank you Dont Say,
            Earl Pitts American

          • Dont Say FLA

            May 29, 2023 at 9:28 am

            Oh. RINOS are dook 4 brain lefties too? Okay. That makes sense. Hence the INO in RINO. Thank you EPA!

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 27, 2023 at 9:04 am

    Rhonda surrendered his Presidential chances to the MAGA right more than a year ago. It wasn’t Rhonda just lopping 9 weeks off his own 15 week abortion ban, it was nearly everything Rhonda’s done. Even Rhonda “protecting” land around water, that’s just assembling waterfront property for resale to developers. That’s why he just signed the law making for plaintiffs in lawsuits against shady developers carry 100% of the risk in bringing suit. Shady Rhonda surrendered. The real story on his campaign would be why he’s still putting on this show of trying. Have to wonder what that’s about when everybody hates Rhonda and everybody knows he is done.

  • Lynda

    May 27, 2023 at 9:59 am

    The serious problem with a six week time limit on abortions is 1) all too many women don’t know at that point they are pregnant, 2) few of the “abnormalities inconsistent” with a fetus living in a womb have been identified, and 3) families who desperately want a healthy baby don’t have time to process the death of a fetus with significant abnormalities inconsistent with life even if those physical issues with the fetus could be identified within a 6 week time limit.

    Six weeks is for 99.9% of women who want or need an abortion an absolute ban on abortion. All of the hysterical fetus worshipers including deSantis are lying about a six week time limit meaning that abortion is “legal” in states with that ban. Since few legislators understand the mechanisms of pregnancy and medical protocols necessary to save the life of the pregnant person, they happily lie to their voters, their donors and often to themselves.

    Let us all hope that the women–mothers, spouses, children, sisters, friends—in the lives of the legislators responsible for 6 week time limits can eventually correct the misinformation so comforting to those legislators.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 27, 2023 at 11:44 am

      That, plus how are you supposed to prove if it’s 5 weeks or 6 weeks or 7 weeks unless you’re in Ron and Casey’s league of doing it so infrequently that you can pin down the absolute, definite date you last did it because it happens so rarely that it’s calendar worthy when it does get done? Wait what was that? Fetal development will determine which week it is? But I thought it was a human, and a human is a human is a human? I am SO confused now.

  • Never Turned On

    May 27, 2023 at 10:09 am

    DeSantis 6 week ban that he flip flopped to after his 15 week ban last year hasn’t turned off a single voter, as nobody was ever turned on by DeSantis to begin win. Folks only ever liked the abstraction, “Trump but not Trump.” Soon as Ron presents themself to people, people say No. Then Casey reels some of them back in, but not enough of them.

  • Heartbeat Protection tick tock tick tock

    May 27, 2023 at 10:13 am

    The so-called “Heartbeat Protection” law would protect a metronome shoved up Ron DeSantis’ huge azz. The problem is that no heart organ is actually required for detection of this so-called “detectable heartbeat.” Some will argue two cells, a sp3rm and an 3gg, once the sp3rm worms its way into the 3gg, are alive and therefore comprise a human. Problem there is the 3gg and the sp3rm were both alive prior to fusion. The chickens outside my window are live. Worms in dirt are alive. That does not make any of them a human, same as a metronome is not a human.

  • NRA allowance

    May 27, 2023 at 11:06 am

    The so-called Pro Life crowd fights so zealously for life in the womb because the NRA won’t allow them to fight for life once it drops out its momma. The womb is the only safe space the NRA allows. Unfortunately, the bullets, they just don’t care. Heart, lung, spinal cord, liver, womb, it’s all the same to a .223 round in a body.

  • Kyle Orlando

    May 27, 2023 at 11:28 am

    So these people are pretending as if his position on abortion, which is a losing position of course, is the ONLY reason moderate voters won’t support him?

    Let’s be realistic. Desantis is anti-virtually everything, including books, and he even suggested he’d build a rival to Disney World–something that would only happen in places such as Russia and China. Has Desantis forgotten that government controlling industry is actually COMMUNISM?

    Desantis is becoming the most polarizing figure in American politics. He’ll lose to either Biden or Trump.

  • Fertilization should be the drinking age

    May 27, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Embryos and fetuses should be allowed to drink, to vote, to drive, and to be charged as adults. Adulthood is a fictionalization created by abortionists trying to devalue lives the younger they get. Child r8pe is just another fairy tale from abortionists trying to say there’s some point in development of a human that is somehow different from some other point in development of a human. It’s all lies. Humans are humans at conception, with all the “adult” rights of responsibilities currently held hostage by abortionists.

  • Ron’24

    May 27, 2023 at 1:46 pm

    I was in the room in Miami.
    While certain types of donors or their perspective supporters have their opinions about abortion, Ron is a prolife Constitutional Conservative. Period. As was President Ronald Reagan, who was more direct articulating on the abortion issue and you can google his 6/1986 statement in the New York Times.

    Reagan not only won his first, but second Presidential election in a landslide.

    If they wont vote for Trump or don’t like DeSantis position where do they go?

    Ron will not be bought by donors.

    He is who he is which is why he has never lost an election despite the media’s attempts to take him down.

    DeSantis ‘24
    Take 6

    POTUS primary

    • Except for Bullets

      May 27, 2023 at 3:25 pm

      Ron DeSantis is all about protecting kids from drag queens that come bearing books, but when it comes to keeping bullets out of school children, Rhonda’s record is one of impotent, disastrous inaction. The voters in USA ain’t havin’ that no more. We done. NRA sycophants are going going going … and soon all will be gone.

  • Mercury Ed 👍

    May 27, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    No one to the left of Hitler would vote for this nut job. He’s cooked his goose for president. The article is onto something alright. Nobody gonna vote for this fkn guy now.

  • Casey Set Ron Up

    May 28, 2023 at 8:55 am

    This Ron DeSantis campaign is nothing more than Casey Anthony DeSantis is looking to make a move up the Mrs ladder.
    The plan is to sink Ron’s boat, drowning Ron, and jump onto Elon’s yacht’s lifeboat, sailing off into the sunset with Elon.
    Casey cannot see how gay Elon is. That’s because seeing another human as being a gay type human, that requires thinking of them rather than thinking what they can do for you. By the time Casey finds out Elon’s gay, it will be too late. Do NOT tell her.

  • Suze

    May 30, 2023 at 7:49 am

    DeathSantis paid for by dark money and NRA has shown he has no respect for women. Give every Floriduh man a gun including those who abuse women and abuse women more by telling them what they can do with their bodies. Handmaidens hell in AR heaven. Well done DeathSantis and Florida GOP misogynists. Dream about POTUS

Comments are closed.


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