Republican Donor Ken Griffin Not Backing Ron DeSantis, Calls Battle With Disney 'Pointless'

Zinger Key Points
  • Ken Griffin previously donated to the Ron DeSantis campaign.
  • Griffin is sitting on the sidelines and not backing a Republican candidate for president currently.

One of the biggest donors to the Republican party is sitting out and not making large donations ahead of the primary race ahead of the 2024 presidential election.

Here’s a look at why Ken Griffin isn’t impressed with alternates to Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

What Happened: Citadel LLC and Citadel Securities' Griffin is a well-known name in the financial community, sharing his takes on how the economy is doing and how close the U.S. is to a recession.

The hedge fund founder is also well-known for donating heavily to the Republican party.

In an interview with CNBC anchor Sara Eisen, Griffin criticized the current candidates hoping to defeat former president Donald Trump in the primary.

“I’m still on the sidelines as to who to support in this election cycle,” Griffin said. “Look, if I had my dream, we’d have a great Republican candidate in the primary who was younger, of a different generation, with a different tone for America.”

Griffin also said the ideal situation would see the Democratic party have a “younger person” in the primary.

“We’d have a debate around ideas and principles and policies to make this a great nation. We’re not having that dialogue right now.”

The comments from Griffin come after he previously donated to the Ron DeSantis campaign in 2022. Griffin donated a total of $100 million during the 2022 election cycle to state and federal candidates, with the majority being Republicans.

In the interview with CNBC, which airs at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Sept. 18, Griffin said he had not decided who he will financially help ahead of the 2024 election.

“As the presidential campaigns unfold, I am assessing how the policies of each candidate will address the challenges facing our country,” Griffin said in a statement to CNBC.

Related Link: Trump Slips 3 Points In Latest GOP 2024 Poll, Still Leads By 43 Points 

Why It’s Important: One item not helping DeSantis gain support with Griffin is the Florida governor’s ongoing battle with media giant Walt Disney Co DIS.

“The ongoing battle with Disney, I think, is pointless. It doesn’t reflect well on the ethos of Florida,” Griffin said.

DeSantis challenged Disney over its self-governing powers in the state of Florida after the media company voiced opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. DeSantis and Disney have filed lawsuits against each other and continue to battle.

Griffin said the way DeSantis governed the state of Florida during his first time “phenomenal,” but hasn’t been impressed with the way the “last few months have played out.”

The hedge fund founder isn’t a fan of DeSantis’ current campaign, which saw a change in leadership in recent months.

“I don’t know his strategy. It’s not clear to me what voter base he is intending to appeal to.”

Griffin is worth an estimated $37.1 billion, ranking as the 34th richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg. Griffin didn't rule out donating to a candidate in the future, but his position on the sidelines could hurt the odds of closing the gap with front-runner Trump. 

The comments from Griffin come as the hedge fund founder is being portrayed as a central character in the “Dumb Money” movie from Sony Group Corp SONY that centers on the rise of value in GameStop Corp GME shares.

Griffin was not a fan of several scenes in the movie and reportedly had portions of the script changed, although screenwriters have denied those claims.

Current president and Democratic front-runner Joe Biden recently pushed a ramp-up in his television advertising for the 2024 election.

Read Next: Political Ad Spending In 2024 Election To Smash Records: Projected Totals, Stocks To Watch

Photo: Disney, DeSantis via Shutterstock; Griffin courtesy Citadel

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Posted In: PoliticsGeneral2024 election2024 Presidential Election2024 Presidential Racecitadelcitadel securitiesDon't Say GayDonald TrumpDumb MoneyFloridahedge fundJoe BidenKen GriffinRepublicansRon DeSantis
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