OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is not only a rising star in his party, but he has become a fundraising powerhouse as well.
But hosts on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday hinted that DeSantis’ fundraising was due in part to his scamming donors.
In an appearance on the show, Alyssa Farah Griffin, who served as White House Director of Strategic Communications and Assistant to the President in the Trump administration in 2020 and is now a CNN contributor, followed up a discussion about DeSantis’ fundraising prowess by suggesting: “What a lot of these apps and websites do is you click to give once and it actually signs you up to recurringly give. It is so unfair; it is a grift, it is terrible; it is horrible.”
But DeSantis hit back on Griffin’s claim, calling it completely untrue.
“I got accused by some of these people on one of these shows about, oh you know, he’s raising all of this … and they tried to say that we had auto-donate, where it keeps going every month. We do not do that,” DeSantis said on Tuesday.
“We do not do that auto because we don’t want people to have these charges if that’s not something they didn’t agree with,” DeSantis noted further, as reported by Newsbusters. “So they tried to act like I was doing that and then some of these media went and said, ‘Wait a minute, he’s not doing that.’ So they were lying about that.”
“At the end of the day, we have folks, some people are on a fixed income, very limited, and they will donate a certain amount and that’s very meaningful. Not everybody has the capacity to write these big (checks) … we would never do automatic unless you personally as the contributor, press that button,” he explained.
“And so I think it’s very important, particularly as Republicans, when you’re raising money amongst your own people, that you’re doing it in a way that has honesty. And so if my name is being used to trick people into providing donations for something that they don’t necessarily want to do, that is definitely wrong,” he concluded.
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) July 18, 2022
Jerry Dunleavy, an investigative journalist for the Washington Examiner, did a quick check of DeSantis’ fundraising site, which is managed through the WinRed platform, to declare Griffin’s claim absolutely false.
“Putting aside Alyssa Farah calling something a ‘grift’— I just checked & the WinRed donation page for DeSantis’s gubernatorial campaign does not automatically make a donation a recurring one, but instead it’s a box you have to voluntarily select yourself,” he tweeted along with a screengrab taken of the donation platform.
Putting aside Alyssa Farah calling something a “grift”— I just checked & the WinRed donation page for DeSantis’s gubernatorial campaign does not automatically make a donation a recurring one, but instead it’s a box you have to voluntarily select yourself.https://t.co/Nflc1Nt4lf https://t.co/rmlTDkCb2Q pic.twitter.com/kCotEqJ8Xy
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) July 15, 2022
As to his fundraising, “DeSantis shows no signs of slowing down amid his meteoric rise to the top of the Republican Party as he beat former President Donald Trump in fundraising by nearly eight figures in the first half of the year,” The Daily Wire reported Tuesday, adding:
DeSantis raised $45 million during the same period of time, $9 million more than the former president. In April, DeSantis had already raised more than $100 million for his re-election effort in Florida, which CNN noted might have made him perhaps the first gubernatorial candidate in history “to reach the nine-figure milestone solely through donations.”
The CNN report noted that not only does the staggering sum send a strong message to Democrats in the state but also puts other Republicans aiming to potentially run in 2024 on notice.
In addition, according to NBC News, DeSantis now has “an unprecedented $130 million war chest” he has at his disposal for his reelection campaign this year.
Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, one of 16 candidates who lost the Republican nomination to Trump in 2016, said recently he believes DeSantis is the future of the party, according to the Tampa Bay Times, adding that he was frequently mentioned in conversations during a recent cruise with other conservative figures.
“The name I hear most frequently talking to people is Ron DeSantis,” Walker noted. “What they said to me all the time is, they feel like DeSantis has the kind of guts, the same kind of backbone as Trump, but is the newer, younger, fresher version. That’s what I hear repeatedly.”