As he gears up for a potential 2024 showdown with former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has enlisted a leading right-wing outlet for advertising: Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire. The Republican governor paid over $100,000 since last year in fundraising expenses to the site, which has aired commentary supporting DeSantis over Trump.
DeSantis and his associated PAC Friends of Ron DeSantis have paid $110,429.01 for fundraising expenses and list rental to the site since July 2021, according to a search of campaign data with the Florida Department of State. The Miami Herald noted some of DeSantis’ payments to the Daily Wire and other right-wing outlets in April.
The Daily Wire and its personnel have recently been friendly voices for DeSantis, who won his 2022 reelection bid.
Shapiro, as summarized by the website he co-founded, has “faulted Trump” and “made no secret of his support for DeSantis.” He also said in September that DeSantis is a “very effective governor” and a better potential president than Trump.
After Trump tried out the nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious,” Daily Wire host Matt Walsh tweeted: “DeSantis is an extremely effective conservative governor who has had real policy wins and real cultural wins. Trump isn't going to be able to take this one down with a dumb nickname. He better have more than that up his sleeve.”
And the Daily Wire has featured pieces such as “Trump Launches Unprovoked Attack On Ron DeSantis For His Handling Of COVID Pandemic”; “With Trump The Big Loser In ’22 Midterms, DeSantis Now Frontrunner For ’24”; and “‘Original’ Trump Backer Michael Savage: ‘DeSantis Is The Future … This Is About A Nation, Not About Any Man.’”
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the House Republicans’ official campaign arm, has also heavily advertised in the Daily Wire, paying $321,100.18 from 2021 to 2022 so far for list rentals.