Ron DeSantis: 'Don't leak this'

September 2, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis's (R) Super PAC is asking donors for $50 million, according to a new report from the New York Times. 

The Times reports that Jeff Roe made the request during a private donor meeting that was held in Milwaukee just ahead of the Republican presidential primary debate that was held on Aug. 23, 2023.

Roe is the chief strategist of DeSantis's super PAC, called, Never Back Down.

The Times obtained the information for its report from a recording of the meeting that it has reviewed.

"Don't leak this"

According to the Times, Roe, during the meeting essentially made a sales pitch for $50 million.

"Now let me tell you a secret — don’t leak this," Roe began. "We need to do this now. We’re making a move now."

Roe - who, according to the Times, had an "urgency in his voice" - continued, "The day after Labor Day we’re launching and we need your help to stay up and go hard the rest of the way. We need 50 million bucks."

The Times goes on to report Roe as saying that he needs most of this $50 million before the second Republican primary debate, which is scheduled for Sept. 27, 2023.

Roe told donors that he needs $5 million per month just to be able to maintain DeSantis's Iowa operations.

$100 million by March

CNN has also published a report on the above meeting, focusing on the comments made by Chris Jankowski, the super PAC's CEO.

"We just need your help getting $50 million more by the end of the year, and $100 million more by the end of March,” Jankowski reportedly said. “I’m not worried about the second 50. We need the first 50."

It is unclear whether DeSantis's campaign is going to be able to meet these fundraising goals. The Times calls the $50 million goal "audacious, noting that the super PAC "has already taken $82.5 million out of Mr. DeSantis’s state political committee, raised an additional nearly $50 million, and spent nearly $34 million through the end of June."

These reports from CNN and the Times make it look as though DeSantis's 2024 campaign is in desperation mode. Roe went so far as to say that DeSantis needs to beat former President Donald Trump 'in the next 60 days" and that DeSantis needs to separate from his other Republican rivals "now."

At the moment, it is hard to see this happening: Trump currently leads the Republican field, on average, by 38.2 percentage points. DeSantis is in second place. The score is 52.7% for Trump to 14.5% for Desantis. That's a big gap to fill.

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