After Florida’s Heartbeat Protection Act was signed into law this week, Republican businessman and fundraiser Thomas Peterffy said he and a “group” of his friends were delaying their support for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis until the Presidency.
According to the Hungarian-born billionaire, DeSantis has lost some “momentum”, making him “reluctant” to back the as-yet-undisclosed candidate for the 2024 primary nomination.
“I’m even more hesitant to support him. The Republican governor’s support for socially conservative policies on abortion and education, which the Financial Times has called ‘extreme’, has raised concerns for Petterfy. “We await to see who among the primary candidates is most likely to be able to win the overall before we put all our firepower behind them,” he said.
The story quotes Petterfy as saying, “Me and a bunch of pals keep our powder dry because of her attitude to abortion and book bans.
The remarks sparked a flurry of media coverage and responses on Twitter, including one from The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who tweeted with ominous seriousness that the ‘major’ contributor has ‘finally’ been ‘checked in’ with news that had previously been just a whisper.” She revealed that donors were starting to get worried.
The inference, which fits perfectly with the opinion of the press, is that a politician’s electoral chances are doomed if he does not embrace Democratic or progressive views on social issues. Trump cannot win the next election, according to Peterffy.
Although Peterffy has yet to decide who to support, he said in 2015 that Sen. Ted Cruz was “probably the smartest person running” in the Republican primary and that “although personally I don’t believe that abortion is something that should be banned and I don’t think we should care about the environment, however I think Ted has the qualities – he definitely has a chance.” Ultimately, Peterffy supported Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
According to the Financial Times, Haberman and frequent NBC guest Peterffy “Republicans have a really big problem” if DeSantis maintains education policies that lead to certain content being labeled as age-inappropriate in schools and continue to sign laws passed by the duly elected Florida Legislature.