A former ambassador who served under the Trump administration is backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for the 2024 Republican nomination, saying the former president’s “name-calling” is turning away supporters.
Arizona businessman Don Tapia served as the U.S. ambassador to Jamaica from 2019 to 2021. He told Politico on Tuesday that despite his position under the previous administration, he would choose to back DeSantis if the governor ran for president.
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“The name-calling has turned a lot of people off,” Tapia said of Trump. “Let me tell you, we don’t like that.”
While DeSantis hasn’t announced a 2024 presidential run, he is frequently floated as a top contender to face off against Trump in the Republican primary.
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The governor is also releasing an autobiography on Feb. 28, titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” which is viewed by political pundits as another sign he is readying an announcement.
Tapia was a six-figure donor to Trump’s presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020, he told Politico. He has since donated more than $50,000 to DeSantis’ re-election bid, according to the report. He has also hosted multiple fundraising events for the governor.
Trump’s digs at DeSantis began in November, when the former president branded him “Ron DeSanctimonious” just three days before the midterm elections.
When Election Day came, the Wall Street Journal published comments by Trump threatening to release dirt on DeSantis if the governor decided to run for president.
Trump recently insisted on his Truth Social site that contrary to his frequent mocking and name-calling of DeSantis, he rarely thinks about the governor. “I don’t even think about it — A very unimportant subject to me!!!” he declared last week.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.