DeSantis: Trump will help GOP raise funds

Gov­er­nor down­plays im­peach­ment hear­ings

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Gray Rohrer

TAL­LA­HAS­SEE – Pres­i­dent Trump’s planned ap­pear­ance at the Repub­li­can Party of Florida’s an­nual states­man’s din­ner in South Florida on Satur­day is help­ing the party beat fundraisin­g goals, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tues­day.

“This din­ner that we’re do­ing Satur­day, ob­vi­ously, the pres­i­dent’s go­ing to be there, I think it’s go­ing to raise way, way more than they’ve been able to do on this in the most re­cent years,” DeSantis told re­porters af­ter a Cab­i­net meet­ing.

DeSantis also down­played im­peach­ment hear­ings over Trump’s ef­forts to get Ukraine to in­ves­ti­gate Joe Bi­den. When asked if Trump was hurt­ing him­self by re­sist­ing House Democrats’ ef­forts to call wit­nesses within his ad­min­is­tra­tion, DeSantis sug­gested most vot­ers are tuning it out.

“My sense, just talk­ing to peo­ple, is I think the pub­lic gen­er­ally views it as typ­i­cal Wash­ing­ton stuff,” DeSantis said. “Ob­vi­ously the peo­ple that love the pres­i­dent think it’s bad, peo­ple that hate him think it’s good that they’re (hold­ing im­peach­ment hear­ings). But I think the average per­son in be­tween is kind of like ‘typ­i­cal Wash­ing­ton.’”

The Repub­li­can Party din­ner was orig­i­nally sched­uled for last month in Or­lando but was post­poned af­ter a lack of in­ter­est from ma­jor donors and trou­ble find­ing a key­note speaker. The news came

amid re­ports from Politico that DeSantis was at odds with party chair­man Joe Gruters. DeSantis then an­nounced the date for the din­ner and Trump’s ap­pear­ance dur­ing an Oc­to­ber news­con­fer­ence. Fundraisin­g to­tals for RPOF for the fourth quar­ter won’t be­come pub­lic un­til Jan­uary, but the party raised nearly $2.3 mil­lion in the fi­nal quar­ter of 2015, the last time a states­man’s din­ner was held be­fore a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year. DeSantis said Satur­day’s event, which is closed to the press, will sur­pass re­cent to­tals.

“You not only have the pres­i­dent com­ing, you have both U.S. Se­na­tors, I think ev­ery con­gress­man or most con­gress­men from the Repub­li­can del­e­ga­tion, all the leg­isla­tive lead­ers will be there too,” DeSantis said. “It should be a good event.”

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