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Billionaire Says He’ll Back DeSantis, Suggests One Part Of His Campaign Needs To Change


Billionaire Says He’ll Back DeSantis, Suggests One Part Of His Campaign Needs To Change

Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel said he would support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis if he announces his 2024 candidacy for president but said he has to change one part of his campaign.

I think DeSantis would make a terrific president if he’s the Republican nominee. I will strongly support him in 2024,” Thiel told Bari Weiss this week during her podcast. “But I do worry that focusing on the woke issue as ground zero is not quite enough.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to Iowa voters gathered at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 10, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and Palantir, then claimed that “the focus on identity politics, on the woke religion, is probably a distraction from stagnation. It’s a distraction from economics.”

As governor, DeSantis has targeted what he has described as the creep of left-wing ideology into civic life and namely stripped Disney of some of its legal protections after the entertainment giant issued a statement opposing a bill that DeSantis supported. The bill, signed into law by the governor, would prevent teachers from the “instruction” or “discussion” of sexual orientation and gender identity with young children.

And on Wednesday, Florida’s legislature passed a bill that bans teachers from addressing students with transgender pronouns and barring the funding for diversity programs in colleges.

DeSantis rose to GOP stardom, in part, due to him going after Marxist-inspired critical race theory as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion training.

But Thiel claimed that DeSantis’s focus on the subject “can be both important and a distraction at the same time” and stressed that economic issues should be the focus. “It’s a distraction from the way in which the younger generation in the U.S. is probably gonna have a hard time getting the same standard of living as their parents,” he said.

Despite that, Thiel said that he believes it is “necessary to defeat the woke mind virus,” echoing statements made by Twitter CEO Elon Musk, another co-founder of PayPal.

Thiel appeared to be responding to recent reports from Reuters and other news outlets that he would stay out of the 2024 GOP race due to Republicans’ focus on cultural topics.

Thiel’s comments come as at least two other billionaire donors have soured on DeSantis. For instance, billionaire Thomas Peterffy said in a recent interview with the Financial Times that he was ceasing donations to the governor due to his perceived opinion on abortion and other issues.

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, stands on stage prior to the start of the second day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“I have put myself on hold. Because of his stance on abortion and book banning,” he told The Financial Times, without elaborating on what books were actually banned or their content. “Myself, and a bunch of friends, are holding our powder dry,” Peterffy said, without elaborating.

Some conservatives have sounded the alarm that some school libraries allow books that contain pornographic content such as, “Gender Queer: A Memoir.” DeSantis has signed a law that is designed to give parents more say over the books in Florida classrooms and granted them the ability to object sexually explicit or pornographic content. The governor has also signed legislation to ban abortion after a heartbeat can be detected.

Another billionaire, John Catsimatidis, said he has reservations about DeSantis, claiming in a recent interview that the governor has not returned his phone calls. “Why would I support somebody to become president of the United States that doesn’t return phone calls?” he told the Washington Examiner in a recent interview.

The Florida governor has not issued a public comment on Theil’s recent interview. He has also not responded to claims made by Peterffy and Catsimatidis. The Epoch Times has contacted DeSantis’s team for comment.

DeSantis has been widely viewed as the GOP candidate to possibly dethrone former President Donald Trump within the Republican Party. However, recent polls have shown that DeSantis is slipping in the polls to Trump, with a recent one showing the former commander-in-chief ahead by about 30 percentage points.

Read more here…

Tyler Durden
Sat, 05/06/2023 – 13:30

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