GOP mega-donor urges Trump to drop out of 2024 race, backs DeSantis: It's 'time' for next generation
FOX has confirmed Florida governor expected to announce 2024 bid Wednesday
Ahead of Gov. Ron DeSantis' anticipated announcement this week, a GOP mega-donor is throwing his support toward the Florida Republican instead of former President Donald Trump.
Point Bridge Capital founder Hal Lambert explained in a FOX Business exclusive interview why he believes it's "time [for the Republican Party] to move on" to younger leadership.
"There's a number of reasons," Lambert said Tuesday on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast." "One, Donald Trump can only serve one term. He'll effectively be a lame duck almost on day one, if he were to win. But I don't think he can win the general [election]. That's the No. 2 reason. I don't think he can win the general.
"It's time to move on to the next generation. And Gov. DeSantis has a vision forward versus hashing out things from the past."
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Lambert had served on Trump's inaugural committee in 2016. In addition, he founded Point Bridge Capital, also known as "MAGA ETF," as an exchange-traded fund that invests only in companies with employees and political action committees that support Republican candidates.
After going public with his candidate decision Monday, Lambert explained his rationale for supporting DeSantis.
"I like Donald Trump's policies. I like what he did. I'm basing it on bringing the country back together," Lambert said. "[Trump] is so divisive right now. If he were the nominee, this would be another situation where we're going to have the country, our own country, battling internally against each other in a way that's not healthy. ... I don't think it's healthy for the country to have to go through this in 2024 unnecessarily.
"We have a candidate in Ron DeSantis that can win, that has a record, that's conservative, that's the next generation. Why go through this unnecessary kind of hatred of each other in the country?"
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In a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll from last week, 58% of Republican voters favored Trump, while 16% supported DeSantis for the GOP nomination. Lambert argues that Trump has "peaked" in the polls, and DeSantis is poised to close the gap quickly.
"It's time to move on to the next generation. And Gov. DeSantis has a vision forward versus hashing out things from the past." — Hal Lambert
"I don't think that's that great in the Republican primary. I mean, he's the former president and yet basically half of the party would prefer someone else," Lambert said.
He also said DeSantis brings a positive conservative record on which to run, especially in light of his second-term gubernatorial victory in the 2022 election, which he sealed by almost 20 points.
"He's done it because he's been a good governor, and he's got a lot of legislation passed, whether it's on schools and having freedom of school choice, whether it's on immigration, whether it's on mundane things like insurance reform. He's done a lot of great things in Florida. So, he has a record. He's been able to get things done, and he'll run on that," Lambert said.
Lambert also weighed in on the governor's feud with Disney in the Sunshine State. In response to the ongoing legal tussle, Disney recently announced it is scratching plans for a new campus in Orlando that would have brought some 2,000 jobs to the state as part of a roughly $1 billion investment.
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DeSantis has faced criticism for the Disney battle, but Lambert said the move is simply a "state issue" that would not be a problem at the federal level.
"I don't think [DeSantis] would ever do this at a federal level, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it. But states have a right to work with the companies that are in their state," he said.
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"The fact that they're not going to have 2,000 additional employees of Disney in the state, I don't think it's going to move the needle. It's a headline. And I don't think that he's going to back away from the stance on Disney."
In outlining his support for DeSantis, Lambert urged Trump to "drop out" of the 2024 race.
"I think Donald Trump should drop out of the race, quite frankly, for the better of the country," he said.
"Everyone said in 2016 he couldn't get elected, but he was running against Hillary Clinton, which people hated. People hated Hillary Clinton. Even her own party didn't really like her. It's kind of a similar situation. So, Trump wasn't hated in 2016 by the left the way he is today," he said. "The big difference is the four years that he served and then afterward and what's going on, he's created a situation where many, many people simply hate him, and he's not going to win them over."
Fox News Digital reached out to Trump and his campaign but did not immediately hear back.
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Lambert said he plans to do "everything I can" to help DeSantis get the Republican nomination once he formally announces his bid this week.
"If you look at a DeSantis-versus-Biden, it's a very stark contrast," he said. "It's the next generation moving forward. I think that's what the American people are ultimately going to decide that they want to have. I just don't think we want to see a Biden-Trump re-election battle."
Fox News' Patrick Hauf and FOX Business' Paul Steinhauser, Andrew Murray and Breck Dumas contributed to this report.