Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, a prominent donor to Republican campaigns, has stated that he currently has no intention of donating to any GOP presidential primary candidates. This includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whom Griffin had previously expressed his support for.
In an interview with CNBC, Griffin explained that he has not found any of the candidates trailing behind front-runner Donald Trump to be particularly compelling. He expressed his desire for the two major parties to nominate younger candidates who can bring fresh ideas, principles, and policies to the table.
As a billionaire with a net worth of $35 billion, Griffin’s decision not to contribute to the GOP hopefuls vying for the presidency is significant. He had previously donated $100 million to state and federal campaigns leading up to the 2022 midterms.
This decision is particularly detrimental to DeSantis, as Griffin had previously stated that he would back the Florida governor if he ran for president, praising his record as governor. However, Griffin now says he does not understand DeSantis’s 2024 strategy and questioned the voter base he is attempting to appeal to.
DeSantis’s popularity has also waned in recent months, with only 14% of Republican primary and caucus voters supporting him, compared to Trump’s 55%. In addition to Griffin, other top contributors to DeSantis’s 2022 reelection campaign have also distanced themselves from him in the presidential race.
Furthermore, DeSantis faces additional challenges, as the Republican Party’s Florida arm voted not to require presidential primary candidates to pledge their support for the eventual nominee. This means that Trump can appear on the ballot in DeSantis’s home state without signing a state-level oath.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also took a swipe at DeSantis, stating that he expects Trump to be the Republican nominee because he is currently stronger than he was in the previous two elections. DeSantis responded by highlighting Florida’s budget surpluses compared to the national debt added under McCarthy and Trump’s leadership.
Overall, Griffin’s decision not to contribute financially to GOP presidential primary candidates, particularly DeSantis, has significant implications for the race. It remains to be seen how this will impact the dynamics of the primary campaign going forward.
– (source article)