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Ron DeSantis is strategically holding back from picking a fight with Trump, DeSantis ally and longtime GOP donor says: Rolling Stone

Business Insider logo Business Insider 12/2/2022 insider@insider.com (Cheryl Teh)
Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. James Devaney/GC Images and Joe Raedle/Getty Images © Provided by Business Insider Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. James Devaney/GC Images and Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his team are strategically avoiding attacks on Trump, per a GOP donor.
  • Dan Eberhart told Rolling Stone he's been told to hold back from attacking Trump.
  • The media will "harpoon Trump" without DeSantis having to make a move, Eberhart said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' team is strategically holding back from picking a fight with former President Donald Trump, per a new Rolling Stone report.

Rolling Stone spoke to three people with knowledge of the DeSantis team's campaign plans, including Dan Eberhart, a GOP donor who used to back Trump.

"My understanding is that the DeSantis team doesn't see upside in kicking off the fight with Trump this early, even if it may be inevitable," Eberhart told Rolling Stone. "Wading into the Fuentes fiasco just isn't worth it for them. The media will harpoon Trump without Team DeSantis lifting a finger."

DeSantis' public approach to Trump of late has largely been one of deescalation and silence. Even as Trump has dubbed the governor "Ron DeSanctimonious" and blasted him as "average" on social media, DeSantis has avoided addressing Trump's insults and refrained from hitting back. At a November 16 press conference, DeSantis told people to "chill out" about a possible GOP civil war between him and the former president.

Rolling Stone also reported that several Jewish Trump megadonors are thinking about ditching the former president's campaign. Trump on November 22 had dinner at Mar-a-Lago with Nick Fuentes, a white nationalist, and rapper Kanye West, who has on multiple occasions spouted antisemitic vitriol.

DeSantis has not announced that he will run for president, but has hinted that he might. He is releasing his first autobiography, a key indicator that he is looking toward a White House run, reported Insider's Kimberly Leonard.

During a debate in October, he did not commit to serving four full years as Florida's governor. A DeSantis representative told Insider in July that the governor is "focused on Florida and running for reelection as governor this year."

Representatives for DeSantis and a spokesman at Trump's post-presidential office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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