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DeSantis Woos Donors in South Florida — and Holds His Fire Against Trump

DeSantis Woos Donors in South Florida — and Holds His Fire Against Trump

HOLLYWOOD, Florida — Governor Ron DeSantis recently hosted a retreat in South Florida, where he expressed gratitude to his most loyal donors.

The event featured golf, cigars, and spa time, creating an intimate atmosphere for those who avidly supported his presidential run.

Amid the palm trees and ocean breeze, DeSantis and his team emphasized their mission: to keep Florida at the forefront of the conservative movement for the remaining two and a half years of his governorship.

Robert Salvador, a DeSantis donor, recalled the governor’s team reiterating their three-year window to transform Florida into a “beacon of freedom.”

The unspoken backdrop, however, was DeSantis’ ambitions for another presidential run.

While the former president, Donald Trump, held a massive fundraiser nearby, DeSantis chose not to engage in direct criticism. Instead, he focused on the task at hand: shaping Florida’s destiny.

DeSantis’ relationship with Trump has been a delicate dance. After dropping out of the presidential race, DeSantis promptly endorsed Trump.

Yet, he hasn’t aggressively championed Trump’s cause against President Joe Biden. In previous interviews, DeSantis criticized Trump’s use of “identity politics” and highlighted his general election vulnerabilities.

The Trump campaign responded with biting remarks, but this weekend, DeSantis held his fire.

The timing of DeSantis’ retreat, overlapping with Trump’s event, raised eyebrows.

Some Republicans argue that DeSantis should embrace Trump more fervently, especially as the former president seeks to close the fundraising gap with Biden.

Others, however, view DeSantis’ focus on Florida’s future as a strategic move. With a six-week abortion ban recently signed into law, DeSantis faces both praise and scrutiny.