Ron DeSantis, who was once affiliated with the Koch Network, is now trashing it

In his bid for Governor six years ago, Ron DeSantis faced criticism from both his Primary and General Election rivals for his alleged close ties with the influential Koch Network.

The support of the conservative powerhouse group played a crucial role in helping the former three-term Congressman.

Before entering the Governor’s race, DeSantis actively sought the support of the Kochs. He even managed to secure their backing ahead of his opponent, Richard Corcoran, who was endorsed by Putnam. Interestingly, Corcoran later served as DeSantis’ Commissioner of Education and is currently the President of New College.

He was endorsed by the network before the Primary.

Even though the Republican National Committee urged donors to divest from Koch’s efforts, DeSantis-supportive direct mail was still sent out by affiliated groups.

The spokespersons for Adam Putnam and Andrew Gillum seized the opportunity to highlight the collaboration, which provided a significant advantage to DeSantis in races where victory seemed unlikely.

In a fiery news release, Meredith Beatrice, Putnam spokesperson at the time and now serving in various roles in the DeSantis administration, raised questions about whether “D.C. DeSantis was illegally accepting Koch money to conceal his endorsement of lenient borders and trade policies that are detrimental to the American people.”

Beatrice accused the Koch group, which opposes Donald Trump, of supporting D.C. DeSantis without disclosing the origin of $300K in contributions. She sees this as another effort by D.C. DeSantis to hide his betrayal of President Trump.

“D.C. DeSantis has made the decision to align himself with the open-border, anti-Trump Koch brothers, essentially becoming their puppet. This move comes despite President Trump’s recent criticism of the Koch brothers, where he referred to them as a ‘total joke’ and accused them of opposing strong borders and powerful trade.”

Later in the year, the Florida Democrats also joined in to support Gillum.

“The Koch Brothers and their special interest agenda will have complete control over the Governor’s mansion if Ron DeSantis wins,” stated Kevin Donohoe, spokesperson for the FDP. “That’s why they are investing heavily in this race.”

DeSantis, of course, successfully navigated through the challenging situation, and the political arm of Americans for Prosperity showed their support for DeSantis by endorsing him for re-election in 2022.

A spokesperson assured that AFP Action volunteers throughout the state are prepared to rally in support of his re-election.

During the breaks between campaigns, there was additional support provided. In 2021, the Governor received recognition in an Americans for Prosperity advertisement, which had a significant budget allocated to promote school choice. The ad expressed gratitude towards DeSantis for approving the school voucher bill (HB 7045) and urged him to continue supporting this initiative.

The past is behind us and the present is here.

The collaboration between the Governor and the group was completely shattered on Tuesday. Rumors started circulating that the group would no longer support DeSantis and instead endorse Nikki Haley as the candidate who has the potential to win the Republican primary and defeat Joe Biden in the upcoming election.

Ever since the endorsement was made public, DeSantis’ political operation has been in a frenzy. On Tuesday evening, the Governor personally expressed his strong disapproval of the group’s absence in recent years.

During an interview on Newsmax, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis expressed his views on the conservative positions taken by the network. When asked about the support of the “Koch Brothers” for Nikki Haley, DeSantis acknowledged that while some positions were conservative, others were not.

According to his argument, Americans for Prosperity has been in favor of open borders. He also claimed that Nikki is not strong on immigration, which creates a certain level of synergy between her and the organization.

According to DeSantis, Americans for Prosperity perceives Nikki as someone who will prioritize establishment interests.

In a warm and friendly interview, the Governor’s statement aligns with what his campaign had stated earlier on Tuesday. The interview, which was conducted by Bolling, followed his usual style of asking non-confrontational questions.

In a prepared statement, Andrew Romeo, Communications Director for DeSantis, expressed the belief that the pro-open borders and pro-jail break bill establishment is once again rallying behind a moderate candidate who lacks the necessary support to defeat the former President. Romeo claimed that every dollar spent on Nikki Haley’s campaign should be considered as an indirect contribution to the Trump campaign. He emphasized that Ron DeSantis has consistently proven his ability to overcome establishment opposition, and this time will be no exception.

The Governor, once aligned with the Koch Network, now finds himself in a vulnerable position as his presidential campaign struggles to regain its former strength. It’s as if he has gone from walking hand in hand with the establishment to being pummeled in the ring, resembling a weary heavyweight boxer in the final rounds of a grueling fight.

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