The chairman of Interactive Brokers has said that he will halt his financial support for Florida Governor Rick Scott, who is widely seen as Donald Trump’s most significant competitor in the Republican primary in 2024.
On November 15, Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the 2024 Presidential Election.
Following his declaration, the former president saw a substantial number of prominent Republican party donors leave him, including most of the Republican corporate community.
They think that the moment has arrived for the next generation.
“America does better when its leaders are rooted in today and tomorrow, not today and yesterday,” Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive officer of private equity titan Blackstone (BX) – Get Free Report, said one day after Trump announced his candidacy.
“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,” said Schwarzman, who donated $3.7 million during Trump’s first term to committees that supported the controversial president.
Another big Republican supporter and the CEO of renowned alternative investment firm Citadel, billionaire Ken Griffin, was one of Trump’s toughest opponents, calling on the real estate magnate to step down from politics.
“I’d like to think that the Republican party is ready to move on from somebody who has been for this party a three-time loser,” Griffin said, referring to the Republican Party’s poor performance in the 2018 mid-term elections, Trump’s own defeat in the 2020 presidential election, and the GOP’s worse-than-expected performance in the 2022 mid-terms.
However, the rejection of the former president aided a younger contender, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. The 44-year-old CEO is seen as a rising star, and his success in Florida has made him a favorite of the Republican corporate establishment. Griffin gave DeSantis’ re-election campaign $5 million.
DeSantis has not officially declared his candidacy for president.
However, less than five months after launching his campaign, Trump looks to have strengthened his hold on the Republican electoral base, leaving supporters of DeSantis, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, concerned.
The former president’s poll advantage has increased significantly since his arrest last month on 34 criminal counts by a Manhattan grand jury resulting from a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels before of the 2016 presidential election.
Trump denies the allegations.
Since then, polls have shown Trump with a significant advantage over DeSantis, who is viewed as his major opponent in the Republican primary. According to a Reuters/Ipsos survey conducted after the indictment, Trump received 58% of Republican support, while DeSantis received 21%. This is a 10% increase over the previous week, i.e. before the indictment.
“I have put myself on hold,” the chairman of Interactive Brokers told the Financial Times, “because of his stance on abortion and book banning…myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry.”
“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,” the billionaire said.
Peterffy, who supported Trump in the 2020 presidential election, has already stated that he would not financially assist the former president in 2024.
The billionaire’s recent revelation is a major setback for DeSantis, who is presently engaged in a dispute with Disney, one of Florida’s biggest employers.