Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is vying for New York donors by positioning himself as the electable GOP candidate for president in 2024, according to Politico.
The governor has been reaching out to and meeting with high-dollar donors in the state over the past few months ahead of his likely presidential announcement, which is expected to come following Florida’s legislative session in May, Politico reported. DeSantis paid a visit to Republican donor and billionaire Ronald Lauder’s home in Long Island where he insisted he is the only GOP contender who could beat President Joe Biden.
DeSantis’ pitch to Lauder came at a good time, as the billionaire was a former supporter of President Donald Trump who has now publicly criticized him, according to Politico. Following Trump’s third campaign launch announcement in November, Lauder said he will not back the former president in 2024, his spokesman told CNBC.
In other donor meetings, DeSantis has painted himself as the clear alternative to Trump for voters who have grown tired of Trump’s persona and legal entanglements, Politico reported.
“I’m no drama. I’m no chaos,” DeSantis said, a New York businessman recounted to Politico. “I’m calm, cool and collected. Very focused.” (RELATED: Piers Morgan Asks DeSantis Whether He Can Beat Biden In Potential 2024 Race)
DeSantis, who is set to deliver a speech in Long Island Saturday night, has been reaching out to notable real estate investors in Trump’s former stomping ground who are also property owners in Florida, the businessman told Politico. In private engagements, the governor touts his military experience and his ability to get “points on the scoreboard” in Florida.
DeSantis is doing another “not a campaign” campaign stop in New York again. This time on Long Island.
Just officially announce already. Stop playing these games. Everyone knows he is running. https://t.co/XNRc07TXvO
— Gavin Mario Wax 🇺🇸 🗽 (@GavinWax) March 27, 2023
“From what I’ve heard, he does not say President Trump is drama and chaos. He just says he’s not. So, what is that implying?” the businessman told Politico.
Many of Wall Street’s biggest bank executives told Politico that while they appreciate some of the things Trump did during his presidency, they are ready for a different GOP nominee.
“Look there is no question that some of what he did was good for us,” an executive told Politico. “But he’s bad for America. And ultimately that’s bad for us. And most of our employees can’t stand him.”
This comes as a recent New York state primary poll indicates that Trump is leading DeSantis by 25 percentage points among Republicans, at 52% to 27%, according to a Monday Siena College Research Institute poll.
DeSantis’ meetings and correspondence with New York megadonors comes as another sign the governor is set to jump in the Republican primary in short order, according to Politico. The governor has also been touring the country including several key early primary states to promote his new book “The Courage to Be Free.”
Former Trump official Ken Cuccinelli recently started the political action committee Never Back Down to draft DeSantis into the GOP primary, and has brought several former Trump aides along with him. The PAC is expected to be the potential DeSantis campaign’s main source of outside funding.
“Governor DeSantis is a conservative who is widely viewed as being far more electable than Trump in a general election. Given that he has the conservative policy minus the baggage, minus the legal problems, it’s no surprise that he would find some success among New York’s most important conservative donors,” Democratic political strategist Jon Reinish told Politico.
DeSantis’ team did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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