Trump and DeSantis Set Aside Feud to Appeal to Donors: ‘Glad You’re Back’


Former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) engaged in a heated Republican presidential primary before the Florida governor suspended his campaign.

Despite doubts that their relationship could mend after their primary altercations, the two recently shared a call described as “warm and gracious” in front of GOP donors, as the party strives to catch up to President Joe Biden in fundraising.

Trump reportedly expressed, “Ron, I love that you’re back,” during the call, while DeSantis gathered with allies in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They also spoke about one of Trump’s favorite pastimes, golf.

This development is one of the first significant signs that the pair are heading towards reconciliation, at least in appearance. The timing, in front of donors, may not be coincidental, given Trump’s sizable lag behind Biden’s campaign war chest.

Trump managed to outraise Biden by $76 million to $51 million in April, marking the first time in recent months that Biden did not outperform his Republican opponent in fundraising. A restored Trump-DeSantis relationship could also bolster Trump’s image among Florida voters, who reelected DeSantis as governor in 2022 by nearly 20 points.

Some DeSantis donors had reportedly been hesitant to contribute to Trump’s campaign, fearing their funds would be diverted to Trump’s legal fees in his criminal cases instead of focusing on defeating Biden.

DeSantis had been raising funds with his top donors for Super PAC Right for America, which enjoys backing from major Republican donors, some of whom prefer to support DeSantis over Trump.

The appearance of the mended relationship might also appeal to a small segment of voters, around 13%, who favored DeSantis in a poll conducted at the beginning of April.

Florida, once a critical swing state, leans increasingly to the right this election cycle, with Trump winning the state in 2016 and 2020. The Cook Political Report rates the state as “Likely Republican” in the general election.

In another display of GOP solidarity, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, another notable Republican primary contender against Trump, recently stated she would vote for the former president.

Ross O'Keefe
Ross O'Keefe
Breaking News Reporter. Ross pitches and writes polished quick-hit pieces about a variety of subjects with a focus on politics. He graduated from the University of Maryland's Phillip Merrill College of Journalism in 2023.

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