DeSantis’ Donors Want More Than a Reboot. They Want Him to ‘Clean House’

 DeSantis’ Donors Want More Than a Reboot. They Want Him to ‘Clean House’

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In an attempt to revitalize his campaign which has been heavily criticized for its digital focus on contentious cultural issues, Governor Ron DeSantis has failed to alter the direction of his campaign, causing key supporters and donors to consider withdrawing their support.

Several of DeSantis’ significant financial backers have expressed dissatisfaction over the campaign’s reliance on online culture wars. Despite a major staff reshuffling, the most internet-engaged employees are still involved, with some becoming even more outspoken.

The campaign revamp has featured public social media disputes involving a DeSantis staff member and a Black Republican legislator. Furthermore, despite urging supporters to distance themselves from cultural battles, DeSantis has incited conflict with Bud Light and engaged in a debate over the instruction of Black history.

This unsuccessful reinvention of the campaign is causing some backers to question whether the issue lies not with the campaign, but with the candidate himself. According to a prominent Republican donor who supports DeSantis, comprehensive restructuring and accountability might be the only solution to salvage DeSantis’ chances in the primaries.

Neither DeSantis’ campaign nor his super PAC, “Never Back Down”, responded to requests for comments. Various Republicans who aspire to assist DeSantis in his presidential ambitions, including officials from Never Back Down, other Republican financiers, and veteran operatives, have privately expressed their frustration with the campaign’s current trajectory, told Rolling Stone.

Particular dissatisfaction has been directed at Christina Pushaw, the campaign’s rapid response director. She recently stirred controversy by publicly criticizing Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds over his objection to a part of the Floridian curriculum guidelines. Pushaw’s online altercations, as well as other conflicts caused by DeSantis’ team, are a source of worry for some donors.

Earlier this month, DeSantis fired a third of his staff, including a campaign speechwriter who had a prominent online presence. Other dismissals are called for by several of DeSantis’ primary donors.

However, amidst these issues, certain campaign staff have been promoted, including the campaign’s digital director, Ethan Eilon, indicating DeSantis’ comfort with persistent online confrontations from his team.

Criticism doesn’t stop at DeSantis’ team; many influential consultants, donors, and media moguls argue that the problem lies with DeSantis himself. Recently, DeSantis has been embroiled in cultural war issues, including threatening Anheuser-Busch with a lawsuit for partnering with a transgender woman and proposing an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist as a potential FDA chief.

Veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins, who previously led the Ready for Ron PAC, has distanced himself from pro-DeSantis efforts, attributing the campaign’s issues to DeSantis. Rollins pointed out that while some members of DeSantis’ team are competent, the candidate himself has shown a tendency to express unfiltered thoughts that often lead to controversy.

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