A man Donald Trump picked while in office as his administration’s ambassador to Jamaica and who donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Trump’s successive bids for the presidency is among those moving away from the ex-commander-in-chief as he seeks another term.
That individual, Don Tapia, is supporting Ron DeSantis, the current Republican governor of Florida, instead — although it’s tentative, considering DeSantis hasn’t actually confirmed he’s running for office. DeSantis has seen, though, consistently positive results in polls, some of which have shown him close behind or even ahead of Trump, and the ex-president himself is clearly bothered, considering the pace of his public complaints about him, including just this Tuesday. DeSantis and his team will soon be hosting a three-day retreat in southern Florida for donors, and Tapia is evidently attending, or at least in favor. Tapia also already donated tens of thousands of dollars in support of the DeSantis political operation, although that was in support of the Florida governor’s wildly successful re-election bid last year.
Tapia credited some of those distancing themselves from Trump to the ex-president’s endlessly antagonistic approach. Trump also saw Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), a past avid supporter, switch his support to Nikki Haley for the GOP primary contest, and in Iowa, which will remain with a high-profile heading into the upcoming presidential election fight, prominent figures in both public service and the private sector are resisting supporting Trump’s campaign so far. That includes the governor, both of the state’s Senators, and even Matthew Whitaker, a former federal prosecutor who Trump temporarily made the acting head of the Justice Department. “The name-calling has turned a lot of people off,” Tapia said. “Let me tell you, we don’t like that.”
POLITICO noted that those in attendance at the upcoming DeSantis event in Florida will be in a prime position to hear potential details about a looming run for president by the prominent governor. “DeSantis is expected to draw around 150 top donors and other supporters to the event, many of whom formerly backed Trump,” the outlet said. Attendees are looking at the possibility that the governor “uses this week’s event to drop any hints about his anticipated presidential bid,” the outlet added this Tuesday. Trump, meanwhile, is also hosting a fundraising event in southern Florida this week — while continuing to face the possibility of criminal charges for himself or one of his associates in relation to several serious investigations, like the Justice Department probe into the handling of classified documents from his administration and the Georgia investigation into pro-Trump meddling, attempted or otherwise, with that state’s election results after 2020.