Billionaire Ken Griffin Wants DeSantis, Not Trump, in 2024

Billionaire Ken Griffin Wants DeSantis, Not Trump, in 2024 (Newsmax)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 07 November 2022 10:07 AM EST

Billionaire hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin told Politico the U.S. would be "well-served" with Ron DeSantis as president, saying "it's time" for Republicans "to move on" from former President Donald Trump.

Griffin, a philanthropist who has given $60 million to federal GOP campaigns for the midterms, told Politico he's prepared to support Florida Gov. DeSantis if he runs for the White House.

"I don't know what he's going to do. It's a huge personal decision," said Griffin, whose $5 million made him the leading donor to DeSantis' reelection campaign this cycle.

"He has a tremendous record as governor of Florida, and our country would be well-served by him as president. Would I support him? The bigger question is, is he going to run? That bridge has to be crossed."

As for Trump, Griffin said he supported the former president's fiscal policies. However, Griffin's only donation to Trump was $100,000 to his inaugural committee.

"He did a lot of things really well and missed the mark on some important areas," Griffin said. "And for a litany of reasons, I think it's time to move on to the next generation."

Politico said Griffin shrugs at single-issue (e.g. abortion, election fraud) populist movements, and he doesn't expect to agree with candidates, including DeSantis, all the time.

Griffin disagreed with DeSantis' move to fly nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard in protest of President Joe Biden failing to adequately police the southern border.

Griffin, 54, head of investment firm Citadel, also criticized DeSantis and Florida GOP lawmakers for dismantling "independent special district" status for Disney World as a result of the entertainment company's woke policies.

"I have no qualms with the very public fight, but the revocation of Disney's special tax district felt like retribution," Griffin told Politico.

Griffin trails only progressive billionaire George Soros ($128 million to Democrats), and Richard Uihlein ($62 million to far-right candidates and organizations) in financial support for the midterms.

"Do I get a bronze medal?" Griffin asked with a chuckle while allowing, "It's not a competition."

At one time, Griffin backed Democrats, including former Chicago Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, and former President Barack Obama.

Griffin's donations in recent years, though, have shifted rightward due to concerns about public safety, schools, and politicians' lack of fiscal responsibility.

Before the 2022 elections, Griffin talked with GOP leaders about endorsing women and minority candidates, which he sees as the future of the party.

"Many of the conversations with [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy about candidates are really about, 'How do we bring more people from different backgrounds into the Republican Party?'" Griffin told Politico.

"Kevin is really thoughtful about thinking how to make sure minorities feel the Republican Party is focused on areas important to them, whether it's education, crime, or other issues they care about."

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