The dissolution of a super PAC established to support Ron DeSantis with a substantial sum of $50 million has occurred due to the withdrawal of donors. Notably, the founder of this super PAC expressed dissatisfaction with the Florida governor’s campaign, attributing it to novice errors, and afterwards announced his intention to shift support towards Donald Trump.
In November, John Thomas, a prominent Republican strategist recognized for his adeptness in political conflicts, established a campaign named ‘Ron to the Rescue’. This initiative successfully garnered financial support from affluent benefactors.
However, he stated that the funders started experiencing doubts subsequent to the unsuccessful DeSantis campaign launch on Twitter Spaces in May.
The occurrence served as the most recent setback for DeSantis, following the incident wherein a tree descended upon the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee amidst the occurrence of Hurricane Idalia on Wednesday. At the time of the incident, Casey DeSantis, the wife of the individual in question, together with their three children, were present in their residence. Fortunately, no injuries were sustained by any of the individuals involved.
The incident with Twitter Spaces entailed an interview between DeSantis and Elon Musk on the popular social media platform. However, the livestream experienced several disruptions, which provided an opportunity for critics to depict the DeSantis campaign as lacking in competence.
In an interview with DailyMail.com, Thomas expressed ‘We were hoping to do like a formal TV campaign of air support when DeSantis officially launched. But the problem with that is with the Twitter Spaces blunder, like almost from the get-go, all of our major donors said, ‘let’s just see how this plays out.’
‘There is one singular important thing every national presidential candidate must do on their launch day, which is provide video to give to the television stations to project optically what your vision is for the future,’ he continued.
Thomas provided more examples of instances, such as the act of publicly sharing internal documents on the internet, and referring to the agreement to engage in a debate with California governor Gavin Newsom as blunders indicative of inexperience calling them ‘rookie s**t’ errors..
Prior to the introduction of Twitter Spaces, the strategist, who had experience in electoral campaigns throughout 49 states, had a considerable number of contributors expressing their intention to provide substantial financial backing, ranging from seven to eight figures, in support of DeSantis.
The Political Action Committee (PAC) allocated a modest sum of approximately $20,000 towards grassroots initiatives aimed at mobilizing public backing for the governor.
Donors were never provided with any moment that instilled a sense of encouragement, such as a definitive opportunity.Thomas stated that everything had dried up.
Andrew Romeo, the campaign communications director for DeSantis, expressed his satisfaction with the cessation of operations of Thomas’ purported political action committee (PAC), referring to it as ‘welcome news’ about the ‘Scam PAC.”
‘We’ve made clear from the beginning that this was a scam PAC looking to grift off Ron DeSantis and it comes as welcome news they are no longer attempting to fleece our donors,’ Romeo informed the Daily Mail.
‘Ron DeSantis outraised both Biden and Trump last quarter, and we look forward to continuing our fundraising success as we capitalize on his strong debate performance and momentum in the early states.’
In November of last year, legal representatives for DeSantis expressed concerns with the Political Action Committee (PAC), citing its potential to generate confusion among supporters and its lack of direct communication with the governor’s administration.
In 2Q of this year, Never Back Down, the primary super PAC supporting DeSantis accumulated a total of $130 million in funds. According to the election fundraising forms, as of the conclusion of June, there remained a sum of $96.8 million yet to be expended.
In recent weeks, it was revealed that Robert Bigelow, a prominent hotel entrepreneur and significant contributor to Governor DeSantis’ campaign, expressed his intention to withhold further financial support beyond his initial $20 million donation. Bigelow’s decision was contingent upon the governor’s adoption of a more centrist stance.
Bigelow specifically voiced criticism towards the abortion ban of six weeks that was signed into law by DeSantis in the state of Florida.
Thomas stated that he and his network of donors are currently engaged in the deliberation of strategies to facilitate fundraising efforts for Trump’s campaign.
Thomas stated that ‘We’re going to see after the reporting period of September 30 how Trump’s cash on hand is and then we’re going to try to determine where we can fill in gaps, if it’s needed.’
Thomas demonstrated his early endorsement of Donald Trump during both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. Motivated mostly by a strong desire for Republican success, he made the decision to disassociate themselves and establish the initiative known as ‘Ron to the Rescue’ subsequent to the underwhelming performance of the Republican party during the November 2022 midterm elections.
‘When Trump launched his campaign really early, it was kind of fizzling out. There really wasn’t much enthusiasm wrapped around it. It was weird, in the sense of like, wow, this former party leader is just not getting a lot of attention,’ Thomas explained.
‘And DeSantis missed, we think, the announcement window when voters were going to be receptive to a change.’
He continued by saying that Trump ‘has demonstrated a level of campaign savvy and discipline that I didn’t see from him in 2020 that I didn’t see from them in 2016.’
“He said the ‘singular smartest thing’ the Trump campaign had done was put over $20 million in ad dollars attacking DeSantis before the governor could even launch his own race,” The Daily Mail reported.