Another Republican megadonor is holding off on supporting Ron DeSantis'(R) presidential bid, for now, after meeting the Florida governor.
According to Bloomberg News, billionaire Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of Blackstone went to Tallahassee sometime in the last few weeks to meet with DeSantis.
After their meeting, sources told Bloomberg that Schwarzman decided to withhold his support for DeSantis and the rest of the field challenging former President Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican primary.
Schwarzman was a supporter of former President Trump but backed away from him last November, telling Axios: “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.”
A Blackstone spokesperson said Schwarzman has already met most of the contenders seeking the Republican Party nomination for president, but people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg he remains unconvinced about their chances in 2024.
DeSantis, who was widely seen as Trump’s biggest obstacle to securing the nomination, has since fallen further behind the former president in the polls.
DeSantis is yet to officially announce that he is running for president, but Schwarzman is not the only Republican megadonor who is already skeptical about supporting him.
Billionaire Thomas Peterffy, the founder of Interactive Brokers, told the Financial Times last month that he is halting his support of DeSantis due to the governor’s extreme views on social issues.
“I have put myself on hold. Because of his stance on abortion and book banning . . . myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry,” Peterffy told FT. “We are waiting to see who among the primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the general, and then put all of our firepower behind them.”
Ken Griffin, the CEO of Citadel who praised DeSantis after he won his re-election is also uncertain about backing him in the presidential election, according to the New York Times.