LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Aeronautics executive and hotel tycoon Robert Bigelow recently revealed that he is the largest donor to a super-PAC backing Ron DeSantis for president. The uber-rich businessman said his $20 million donation to Never Back Down, Inc. – a political action committee promoting DeSantis through media and encouraging him to run – is just the beginning of his support.
“I will give him more money and go without food,” Bigelow told TIME.
CONFIDENCE IN DESANTIS
A senior official at Never Back Down recently told The New York Times it raised $30 million from March 9 to April 3, with two-thirds of its money coming from Bigelow. Last July, Bigelow donated $10 million to DeSantis’ campaign to help him get re-elected as Florida’s governor.
Bigelow said that Florida members of the U.S. Congress recently coming out in support of Trump has not shaken his confidence in DeSantis. The eccentric tycoon – who funded research into UFOs and whether human beings possess souls that can survive the deaths of their bodies – agrees with the governor’s conservative economic position and his offensive stance against “woke” culture.
“I fully agree with him on all the woke-ism,” Bigelow said. “It really should not be up to the state to indoctrinate children. So I’m in full agreement.”
AGREEING TO DISAGREE
But Bigelow doesn’t agree with everything DeSantis is doing. For example, Bigelow says he believes in letting women decide if they need an abortion within the first trimester.
“I do disagree with the governor on the abortion issue,” Bigelow said, adding that DeSantis’ policy on abortion was not a dealbreaker and he would continue supporting him. In Bigelow’s view, DeSantis is the only Republican who can win a cutthroat nomination battle.
“He’s the right guy, especially at these times, I believe, as far as a Republican candidate is concerned,” Bigelow told TIME. “He’s going to have the record, and he’ll have the right stuff to be the best candidate for the Republican Party.”
DeSantis has not yet formally launched a presidential campaign, but it is widely expected that he will enter the race once the Florida Legislature concludes its session next month.