Following Donald Trump’s campaign announcement Tuesday night, GOP billionaires and other business leaders have begun distancing themselves from the former president.
- Citadel founder Ken Griffin, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, and Interactive Brokers Group founder Thomas Peterffy have made statements distancing themselves from former President Trump.
- “America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday. It is time for the Republican Party to turn to a new generation of leaders and I intend to support one of them in the presidential primaries,” Schwarzman told Axios.
- Schwarzman previously had a close relationship with Trump and was a megadoner in his previous campaign.
- Griffin announced his support of Florida Republican Governor Ron Desantis last week. DeSantis has not announced a White House bid.
- Griffin told Bloomberg that the former president is a “three-time loser” and should not make another attempt to run for office.
- “I think we need a fresh face. The problem with Trump is he has so many negatives, he can’t get elected, period,” Peterffy says.
- In 2020, Peterffy contributed $250,000 to Trump’s campaign.
- Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News have been running negative content about Trump.
- The Club for Growth, once a big advocate of the former President, has released two press releases saying that DeSantis is leading in certain key primary polls.
Why it’s news
Lack of support from the Republican donors won’t be a major monetary blow to Trump—he has raised nearly $100 million since 2020. His 2016 campaign was successful without any major backing. However, the lack of support could shake the confidence of other party leaders and the general electorate.
Some eyebrows were raised when Trump’s daughter Ivanka announced that she would be uninvolved in this next campaign. In a statement on Instagram, she stated that she would be focusing on her family rather than politics.
Griffin’s lack of support isn’t as significant a blow as the billionaire never gave any monetary support to Trump. Schwarzman himself only donated to the former president after Trump had been elected. Schwarzman has previously donated around $3.7 million to various committees involved in supporting Trump.
Peterffy said in his statements that he would vote for the the former president if he wins the Republican primary, but he will work against Trump’s attempt to win the bid. Peterffy added that he would prefer to see DeSantis, former CIA Director Michael Pompeo, or Virgina Governor Glenn Youngkin win the nomination.
With Griffin, Schwarzman, and Peterffy taking an obvious stance against Trump, other donors could decide to place their support with other candidates.
Already, several news outlets have begun to take a stance against Trump and instead support DeSantis—including publications that were previously friendly to the former president like Fox News.
The New York Post published a story last week claiming that Trump was responsible for midterm results that were not as successful as Republicans had hoped. And today the paper headlined his announcement: “Florida Man Makes Announcement,” calling him an “avid golfer.”