Billionaire Ken Griffin, former DeSantis donor, on sidelines for GOP presidential primary

Billionaire and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, a serious Republican donor, says he’s sitting on the sidelines of the GOP presidential primary and never supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who he backed in 2022.

Griffin is just not impressed with what he is seeing from the alternate options to front-runner Donald Trump and has but to resolve who he plans to assist, he stated in an interview with CNBC’s Sara Eisen set to air Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET.

“I’m nonetheless on the sidelines as to who to assist on this election cycle,” Griffin stated. “Look, if I had my dream, we might have an amazing Republican candidate within the primary who was youthful, of a distinct technology, with a distinct tone for America. And we might have a youthful individual on the Democratic facet within the primary, who would have his message for our nation.”

With two youthful, more energizing candidates, “We’d have a debate round concepts and rules and insurance policies to make this an amazing nation,” he stated. “We’re not having that dialogue proper now.”

Griffin has an estimated web price of $35 billion, and he gave greater than $100 million throughout the 2022 midterms to a mixture of a state and federal candidates, with nearly all of it going towards Republicans. Griffin gave $5 million in 2021 to a political motion committee backing DeSantis’ profitable reelection bid, in response to state marketing campaign finance information.

His sidelining within the GOP primary means, at the very least for now, one of many celebration’s largest contributors is not going to be placing his appreciable monetary assets towards a candidate difficult Trump’s monumental benefit.

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The former president leads the primary discipline by at the very least 50 proportion factors, in response to the most recent Quinnipiac poll.

Each day that passes with donors like Griffin staying out of the Republican primary is a day the cash race accrues to Trump’s profit.

“As the presidential campaigns unfold, I’m assessing how the insurance policies of every candidate will tackle the challenges going through our nation,” Griffin stated later in a press release to CNBC. “I care deeply about particular person rights and freedom, financial insurance policies that encourage prosperity and upward mobility, all kids accessing a high-quality schooling, making certain our communities are protected, and a powerful nationwide protection.”

As for DeSantis, Griffin does not perceive the technique of the Florida governor’s presidential marketing campaign.

Before the Florida governor launched a run for the White House, Griffin said “our nation can be well-served by [DeSantis] as president.”

But not anymore. “I do not know his technique,” Griffin stated, referring to DeSantis’ 2024 marketing campaign. “It’s not clear to me what voter base he’s meaning to enchantment to.”

The newest Quinnipiac poll reveals DeSantis with 12% of assist versus Trump’s 62% within the Republican primary.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis arrives forward of the ceremony marking the twenty second anniversary of the September 11, 2001 assaults on the World Trade Center on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, in New York City, U.S., September 11, 2023.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Griffin praised DeSantis for how he ruled Florida throughout his first time period, calling it, “phenomenal,” however added, this “hasn’t been how this previous few months have performed out.”

One of his present points with DeSantis’ second time period as governor is the conflict he has waged in opposition to Disney. “The ongoing battle with Disney, I feel, is pointless,” stated Griffin. “It does not replicate effectively on the ethos of Florida.”

The combat between DeSantis and Disney began final yr, when the corporate stated it opposed Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay invoice, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification for college students in public faculty.

After Disney got here out against the invoice, DeSantis and his allies focused the particular tax district that had allowed Disney to successfully self-govern its Orlando-area theme parks for a long time. Disney and DeSantis are actually locked in dueling lawsuits.

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