Ron DeSantis' Biggest Campaign Contributor Re-Thinks Support, May Lean Toward Donald Trump Instead
Robert Bigelow, the biggest donor to Ron DeSantis's campaign, is now considering switching his support to Donald Trump. He had previously donated over $20 million to DeSantis, making it the largest contribution to any 2024 candidate. However, Bigelow expressed his concerns about DeSantis's campaign, stating that he viewed Trump as a stronger and more 'streetwise' leader, particularly in light of recent events like Hamas' attack on Israel. Bigelow emphasized the importance of having a 'strong commander' as a leader and also suggested that Trump had the momentum to win the Republican presidential primary. Still, the investor highlighted one caveat—it depended on Trump staying out of legal troubles.
“Robert Bigelow gave over $20mn to the DeSantis campaign earlier this year, the largest donation to any 2024 candidate, according to the latest federal filings. “I think Trump is too strong,” Bigelow said. “I think Trump has the momentum, the inertia, to beat him.” Trump was a… pic.twitter.com/fBklfXetnE— Verdiana Garau (@tahitiennevert) November 8, 2023
Recent polls by CBS News show Trump maintaining a substantial lead over other potential candidates in the 2024 primary contests, with DeSantis and Nikki Haley vying for second place, as per Financial Times. DeSantis did receive an endorsement from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, which boosted his campaign, but he has struggled to gain traction this year, while Trump's popularity within the Republican party has continued to rise despite ongoing legal challenges.
Bigelow's initial support for DeSantis stemmed from the governor's efforts to keep Florida's economy open during the COVID-19 pandemic, which he saw as emblematic of the 'land of the free.' However, their relationship began to fracture after DeSantis signed a bill in Florida that banned abortions past six weeks of pregnancy. Bigelow criticized this 'condescending' move as a 'sham,' and when he threatened to withhold further financial support, it was DeSantis' wife who called the investor, which made Bigelow feel the governer was 'more of a user of people.' Bigelow also noted that DeSantis had become too focused on conservatism and was less willing to engage in the 'rough and tumble of US election politics' as compared to Trump.
America is the land of the free because of the men and women who were willing to stand up, wear the uniform and put their lives on the line in defense of freedom.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 11, 2021
This Veterans Day, we reflect on the bravery and sacrifice of our veterans and thank them for their service. pic.twitter.com/F6CXtS8vBo
79-year-old Bigelow, known for his property investments, has a strong interest in space exploration and paranormal activities. He has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Bigelow Aerospace, launched spacecraft in collaboration with Russian partners, and conducted investigations into UFOs for a once-secret Pentagon program. His belief in the existence of extraterrestrial beings and the survival of human consciousness after death aligns with his extensive involvement in space and paranormal research.
🚨Report: Robert Bigelow Founder of Bigelow Aerospace, has donated $20M to Pro DeSantis Super PAC Never Back Down. pic.twitter.com/UeMN6EgObW— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) April 21, 2023
As the 2024 presidential race takes shape, Wall Street executives are grappling with the question of whom to support in the Republican primary, particularly to challenge former President Trump. Some individuals within this community have expressed support for DeSantis, given that he has consistently polled in second place behind Trump, as per CNBC.
IOWA’S WHO 13 reports on @KimReynolds endorsing @RonDeSantis, talks to Iowans about why they support DeSantis.— Team DeSantis (@TeamDeSantis) November 7, 2023
“A lot of DeSantis supporters are former supporters of Trump, even voting for him twice.” pic.twitter.com/myywXOj4pH
Now, as far as Bigelow is concerned, it isn't clear exactly which candidate the investor has chosen to support this time. However, referring to Trump, Bigelow did say, "I’ve got to look at who would probably be the strongest commander, with the most experience... And that’s only one guy... Who would you want as a commander? I’d want somebody that would be a hell of an ass-kicker if he needed to be. On the face of it, you lean toward Trump."
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