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Billionaire GOP Donor Raises Concern About DeSantis’ Interpersonal Skills

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis could soon announce his run for the Republican presidential primary as he remains behind in the polls.

Though Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could soon announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential primary, many polls show that the governor would trail former president Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup between the two. And one recent revelation isn’t helping the governor’s cause.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to the press during a press conference at the Museum of Tolerance on April 27, 2023 in Jerusalem, Israel. Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida and an anticipated US presidential candidate, has been visiting several countries as part of a trade delegation. AMIR LEVY/BENZINGA

The Florida state legislators passed a bill that would allow state officials to run for office at the federal level. This would allow DeSantis to run for president if he chooses to do so. 

“It is an individual office that is unique. It is the chief executive of our country,” said Florida state representative Ralph Massullo.

In an interview with CNN, billionaire and Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis — who was also a major donor to Trump’s 2020 presidential re-election campaign — said that DeSantis’ people skills are lacking.

The billionaire noted that DeSantis hasn’t returned calls from a lot of friends in Florida who had helped to get him elected. Catsimatidis also recalled a story in which one of his friends sat next to DeSantis during a dinner and never heard a word from the governor the entire time.

“He is who he is. He’s a good American, but his people skills are very, very bad,” said the supermarket chain CEO, who revealed that he had financed not only Trump’s campaign but also Bill and Hillary Clinton’s.

When asked whether DeSantis’ lack of responsiveness to Catsimatidis was possibly due to the $20,000 the latter had given to campaign of Charlie Crist, the governor’s Democratic opponent in the 2022 gubernatorial election, the billionaire said he had done so because he had known Crist for 20 or 30 years.

DeSantis has been seen as a possible head-to-head challenge with incumbent President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential race as a possibility of winning the White House. A Trump-Biden rematch in 2024 could send the possibility of a re-election for the 46th President of the United States.

Trump is currently facing legal matters that involve the hush money to Stormy Daniels, classified documents at Mar-A-Lago, January 6 insurrection, Georgia election interference and the defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll.

Some members of the GOP have aimed for an alternative candidate to Trump. 

DeSantis’ interpersonal had been raised by other members of the Republican Party as he has not announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Former Rep. David Troth (R-Mich) recalls his social interaction with DeSantis while serving in the House of Representatives claiming he didn’t have any manners.

“I sat right next to DeSantis for two years on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and he never said a single word to me,” Trott said of his experience meeting DeSantis. “I was new to Congress, and he didn’t introduce himself or even say hello.”

In the wake of Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna’s father’s death, DeSantis’ wife, Casey, had sent a letter to the Congressional representative. Luna had said that DeSantis had not offered to send a letter himself. 

Produced in association with Benzinga

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