Billionaire hedge fund CEO Ken Griffin told Politico the U.S. would be "well-served" with Ron DeSantis as president, saying "it's time" for Republicans "to move on" from former President Donald Trump.
Griffin, a philanthropist who donated $500,000 to Joe Biden’s inaugural committee and also shelled out $60 million to federal GOP campaigns for the midterms, told Politico he's prepared to support Florida Gov. DeSantis if he runs for the White House.
Still, the billionaire may not be in tune with the Republican base and his track record of backing Trump critics have not always paid off.
Griffin gave $50 million to the campaign of Aurora, Ill. Mayor Richard Irvin, an African-American Republican who came in third in the state’s gubernatorial primary.
He also donated another $50 million in federal races, including $7.5 million to hedge fund executive David McCormick, who lost in the Pa. Senate primary to Dr. Oz.
Irvin and McCormick were critics of Trump and both lost to Trump-endorsed candidates.
"I don't know what he's going to do. It's a huge personal decision," said Griffin of a possible DeSantis bid for president. Griffin’s $5 million donation made him the leading donor to DeSantis' reelection campaign this cycle.
"He has a tremendous record as governor of Florida, and our country would be well-served by him as president. Would I support him? The bigger question is, is he going to run? That bridge has to be crossed."
As for Trump, Griffin said he supported the former president's fiscal policies. However, Griffin's only donation to Trump was $100,000 to his inaugural committee.
"He did a lot of things really well and missed the mark on some important areas," Griffin said. "And for a litany of reasons, I think it's time to move on to the next generation."
Griffin is said to shrug at the GOP’s single-issue populist movements, and disagrees with the emphasis on opposing the LBGTQ agenda, questioning the 2020 election and immigration matters.
Griffin says he disagreed with DeSantis' move to fly nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard in protest of President Joe Biden failing to adequately police the southern border.
Griffin, 54, head of investment firm Citadel, also criticized DeSantis and Florida GOP lawmakers for dismantling "independent special district" status for Disney World as a result of the entertainment company's woke policies.
"I have no qualms with the very public fight, but the revocation of Disney's special tax district felt like retribution," Griffin told Politico.
Griffin trails only progressive billionaire George Soros ($128 million to Democrats), and Richard Uihlein ($62 million to conservative candidates and organizations) in financial support for the midterms.
At one time, Griffin backed Democrats, including former Chicago Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, and former President Barack Obama.
Griffin's donations in recent years, though, have shifted rightward due to concerns about public safety, schools, and politicians' lack of fiscal responsibility.
Before the 2022 elections, Griffin talked with GOP leaders about endorsing women and minority candidates, which he sees as the future of the party.
"Many of the conversations with [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy about candidates are really about, 'How do we bring more people from different backgrounds into the Republican Party?'" Griffin told Politico.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.