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Ben Shapiro and DeSantis Former Finance Chairs To Fundraise for Trump

March 20, 2024

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro announced last week to the more than 15 million monthly listeners of his eponymous podcast that he wouldn’t just vote for Donald Trump, he would also co-host a fundraiser for the former president.

Because the choices for president are identical to 2020, Shapiro said he would “walk over broken glass” to support Trump. Almost immediately, he had an opportunity. Trump said Monday that “any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,” comments that the White House quickly condemned as “vile and unhinged antisemitic rhetoric.”

Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew and outspoken ally of Israel, provided a quick defense. Far from antisemitic, he said Trump was “making a point which I have made myself, which is that Jews who are voting Democrat do not understand the Democratic Party at this point.” The left in Congress, he continued, was “split at best between moderates on Israel and radicals who hate Israel.”

For Trump, the rebuttal was welcome, especially given that it came from a pundit once described as the voice of the conservative millennial movement. The endorsement itself, however, was not surprising. Shapiro publicly backed Trump four years ago. The significance is instead the pundit’s willingness to help bind the wounds opened by the Republican primary.

According to an invite obtained by RealClearPolitics, Shapiro will co-host the fundraiser along with Tina Vidal-Duart, Carlos Duart, and Rick Green, each of whom previously sat on the national finance committee of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ doomed presidential campaign.

The Trump campaign will host the fundraiser at the Trump National Doral Miami Golf Club. Tickets cost $23,200 per person. A luncheon and “photo opportunity with President Donald J. Trump” will follow per the invite.

Beset by a myriad of legal trouble, including a $464 million bond in a civil fraud case, Trump needs the money. He also needs to achieve something approaching his boast that the GOP has never been “so unified as it is right now.”

Enter Shapiro who provides an avatar for DeSantis supporters coming to peace with Trump.

He has been critical of Trump’s personal vices, occasionally splitting with the former president on policy and notably calling Trump’s claim that he won the 2020 election “deeply irresponsible.” During the primary, Shapiro frequently boosted DeSantis, criticizing Trump’s decision to run “ever to the left” rather than debate the governor on more conservative grounds.

But that fight is now long over, Shapiro said as he explained his rationale.

“As you know, I didn’t support Trump in the primaries because I don’t endorse candidates in Republican primaries. But I do tell you who I would have voted for. And I told you I would have voted for Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida if given the choice,” he said on his show last Friday.

“But Ron DeSantis isn’t the nominee. Donald Trump is the nominee. And he’s facing Joe Biden, who is the worst president of my lifetime,” he continued.

“My calculus is simple,” Shapiro concluded. “America was better off under Donald Trump than it is under Joe Biden.”

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.
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