Las Vegas real estate investor Robert Bigelow appears to be seriously reconsidering his support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as a Republican presidential contender, according to a new interview.
“You better be able to kill — and that’s not who Ron is,” Bigelow said.
Back in March, Bigelow dropped $20 million into the Never Back Down super PAC, which supports DeSantis, making him the Florida governor’s biggest donor.
So far, however, he has not been impressed with DeSantis, who has been criticized for his past debate performance and ability to connect with voters. Trump is far and away the favorite candidate for Republican voters, leaving DeSantis to fight for the No. 2 spot the polls alongside former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Bigelow said that the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israeli civilians led him to conclude the U.S. needs a “streetwise” leader like Trump.
“I’ve got to look at who would probably be the strongest commander, with the most experience ,” Bigelow told the Financial Times, adding: “And that’s only one guy.”
“Who would you want as a commander? I’d want somebody that would be a hell of an ass-kicker if he needed to be,” he continued. “On the face of it, you lean toward Trump.”
While Bigelow once boasted that he would “give [DeSantis] more money and go without food,” he has since voiced criticism of the Florida governor over his extreme policy stances. Bigelow told Reuters in August that he particularly did not like the six-week abortion ban DeSantis signed in April.
As he explained to the Financial Times: “Six weeks, she just found out she’s pregnant, the odds are. It’s a sham. It’s make-believe. It’s condescending.”
Bigelow said he was miffed that it was DeSantis’ wife, Casey, who called him two weeks after Reuters published the criticism, instead of the candidate himself.
The billionaire owner of Budget Suites of America and Bigelow Aerospace, who is currently nurturing an obsession with death, has also invested money in UFO research and Nevada politics in recent years.