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Mar 30, 2023
Trump Super PAC Puts $1.3 Million Into Taking DeSantis Out of 2024 Race
(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s Super PAC is putting serious money behind his amped-up rhetoric against Ron DeSantis in a bid to take out his primary rival before he can even launch a campaign.
Make America Great Again Inc.’s nearly $1.3 million ad buy is the largest of the presidential cycle so far and comes 10 months before the first balloting in 2024. It will air on CNN and Fox News Channel starting Friday through April 6, according to AdImpact, which tracks political advertisement spending.
The ad attacks the Florida governor for votes he took when he was in Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare and raise the retirement age to 70, policy points that Trump has increasingly used as a cudgel.
“Think you know Ron DeSantis? Think again,” the ad says. “The more you learn about DeSantis, the more you see he doesn’t share our values. He’s just not ready to be president.”
DeSantis hasn’t formally declared his candidacy but is widely expected to enter the race after the Florida legislative session ends in May.
The ad also comes as several polls show Trump pulling ahead of DeSantis, his closest rival. A Fox News poll released Wednesday showed Trump leading DeSantis 54% to 24% in a potential GOP primary. Last month, the former president was up by 15 percentage points.
Alex Pfeiffer, a spokesman for MAGA Inc., said DeSantis “sides with DC establishment insiders” and that the Super PAC is trying “to expose the key differences between President Trump and Ron DeSantis that illustrate just how unelectable DeSantis is.”
A spokeswoman for DeSantis didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Trump’s base has rallied around him as he faces investigations and a possible indictment by federal prosecutors as well as those in New York and Georgia. Meanwhile, he’s hammered DeSantis with derisive nicknames, but also has attacked policies like the Florida governor’s votes in Congress and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump posted four campaign videos on his Truth Social platform attacking DeSantis on Wednesday alone and another on Thursday that accused him of providing the “biggest insurance company bailout in globalist history” and failing Floridians whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ian.
Allies of Trump set up MAGA PAC in September to support candidates he endorsed in the midterms. It raised $73 million, with $68.9 million of that amount coming from Trump’s leadership PACs. Other donors include Republican Timothy Mellon, who gave $1.5 million, and billionaire Andrew Beal, who gave $200,000. It ended 2022 with $54 million cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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