Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has secured some important endorsements ahead of the upcoming Iowa caucuses, but his flagging GOP presidential primary bid does not appear to be rebounding as a result.
In fact, new reports of infighting within leaders of the DeSantis-aligned Never Back Down super PAC have contributed to mounting concerns about the viability of a campaign that was once being heralded as an alternative to front-runner Donald Trump.
The internal strife seemed to reach new heights this week ahead of the resignation of CEO Chris Jankowski.
“Never Back Down’s main goal and sole focus has been to elect Governor Ron DeSantis as President,” he explained in a statement on Wednesday. “Given the current environment it has become untenable for me to deliver on the shared goal and that goes well beyond a difference of strategic opinion.”
Jankowski’s exit came on the heels of reports that DeSantis had been critical of Never Back Down’s strategy despite the outsized role that the super PAC has played thus far in funding a host of expenses traditionally covered by the campaign directly.
Pro-Ron DeSantis group Fight Right Inc. is up in Iowa markets with this spot hitting Nikki Haley on her comments about being inspired to run for office by Hillary Clinton —
Haley: "She is actually the reason that I made the jump" [Hillary cackle] pic.twitter.com/CZtzuHLdVL
— Medium Buying (@MediumBuying) November 23, 2023
As voter support for DeSantis has dwindled in recent polls, Haley’s fortunes have increased, placing them in a battle to secure a distant second-place position behind Trump.
DeSantis adviser David Dewhirst is serving as a director of the new super PAC and described its stated goal.
“Fight Right was created to help tell voters the truth about politicians who break their promises and abandon conservative principles — politicians like Nikki Haley,” he said. “Fight Right will join the fight with the premier DeSantis Super PAC, Never Back Down, to achieve a DeSantis victory.”
In public, at least, the DeSantis campaign continues to express support for Never Back Down and its role in providing important resources.
“We’ve already seen tremendous value in the support of groups like Never Back Down, and adding new allies to the mix to independently help spread the Governor’s message will only strengthen our advantage in the important weeks and months ahead,” explained campaign spokesperson Andrew Romeo.