Major Donor to DeSantis’s Presidential Bid Threatens to Cut Off Money Unless New Donors Emerge and a More Moderate Stance is Adopted

Photo: Ron DeSantis/Gage Skidmore

Hotel mogul Robert Bigelow, the biggest individual donor to the pro-Ron DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down,” revealed on Friday that he would withhold further financial support until Gov. Ron DeSantis can secure additional substantial donors and adopt a more moderate policy agenda, Reuters reported.

Bigelow, the founder of Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, who earlier this year donated $20 million to the pro-DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down,” has voiced his concerns over the governor’s increasingly “right-wing” approach and his inability to present a formidable challenge to President Donald Trump’s commanding lead for the 2024 Republican nomination.

“He does need to shift to get to moderates. He’ll lose if he doesn’t … Extremism isn’t going to get you elected,” Bigelow told Reuters, revealing that he had communicated these concerns to DeSantis’s campaign.

Bigelow highlighted his opposition to DeSantis’s recent decision to sign a bill passed by the Florida legislature banning abortions after six weeks. This measure was enacted after Bigelow’s hefty donation.

Photo: Robert Bigelow/Michael Seeley

The billionaire has decided to stop funding DeSantis until he proves he can raise money “on his own.

“Not until I see that he’s able to generate more on his own. I’m already too big a percentage,” Bigelow said. “A lot of his donors are still on the fence.”

More from Reuters:

Bigelow, the founder of Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace, said he wasn’t waiting for an exact fundraising figure, but that “it’s going to be a lot.”

In a statement to Reuters, a spokesperson for the DeSantis campaign, Bryan Griffin, said they were “grateful” to supporters and donors who gave them “the capacity to compete for the long haul,” without addressing Bigelow directly.

Bigelow’s comments will likely stoke perceptions that DeSantis, once a donor darling expected to put up a real fight against Trump, is in a downward spiral as his right-wing social policies and wooden personality fail to excite voters.

DeSantis has been running to the right of Trump despite many Republican strategists saying he should instead be trying to court moderates concerned about Trump’s policies and electability.

The Gateway Pundit reported on Saturday that the governor’s crowds are drying up like a trickle. Ron’s momentum is like a leaky faucet.

It was reported that DeSantis’s presidential bid is in crisis after more than a third of the team was let go as they faced an uphill battle in the early rounds of the GOP primary.

The Gateway Pundit previously reported that Ron DeSantis had fired roughly a dozen staffers after less than two months on the campaign trail and amidst efforts to assure donors that his campaign has not stalled.

“They never should have brought so many people on, the burn rate was way too high,” said one Republican source per NBC. “People warned the campaign manager but she wanted to hear none of it.”

“DeSantis stock isn’t rising,” the donor added. “Twenty percent is not what people signed up for.”

“Yeah, there are people grumbling about it, no doubt,” one DeSantis donor said. “There is an overall sense, including with me, that he just has not ignited the way we thought he would.”

According to Politico, the presidential campaign of DeSantis is grappling with financial challenges, escalating its cost-cutting measures to include slashing over a third of its payroll as it fights to regain momentum in the GOP primary.

According to campaign advisers, 38 jobs across various departments have been cut. This includes the 10 event planning positions that were publicly announced a few weeks ago, along with the recently departed senior advisers Dave Abrams and Tucker Obenshain.

In a statement released by DeSantis’ campaign manager, Generra Peck, she said, “Following a top-to-bottom review of our organization, we have taken additional, aggressive steps to streamline operations and put Ron DeSantis in the strongest position to win this primary and defeat Joe Biden.”

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

You can email Jim Hᴏft here, and read more of Jim Hᴏft's articles here.


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