Wall Street is ready to move past Donald Trump but is not quite sold on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as his Republican successor.
The governor has been widely considered to be the ex-president's greatest threat in the 2024 primary race, but DeSantis has stumbled out of the gate before he has even officially announced his campaign -- which has prevented financial industry executives from throwing their support behind him, reported Politico.
“DeSantis is certainly a better option than Trump at this point,” said one executive at a New York bank. “But he’s a really weak option.”
“What we probably wind up with is a choice between a guy who is very old and wants to raise our taxes and re-regulate everything, and a guy who could be running from prison,” that executive added.
DeSantis has shown he can handily win a swing state, while other potential challengers like Mike Pence have only won GOP strongholds, but donors are nervous about his antagonism toward Disney -- which one power broker called a "self-inflicted wound" – and his off-putting personal demeanor.
“I call my donors, I call my supporters and that’s been an issue that people have complained about with him,” said Miami mayor Francis Suarez, a Republican who has also considered entering the 2024 race.
Executives are also aware that publicly backing DeSantis could give Trump a line of attack.
“We know everyone hates us and that nobody running for president wants to be seen as the ‘Wall Street candidate,’” the bank executive said. “So you’ll probably see a lot of people just sitting this one out.”