(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Never Back Down, a super PAC in support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s presidential bid, is in disarray following the abrupt resignation of CEO Chris Jankowski.
Jankowski’s departure comes amid internal strife surrounding the future direction of the political committee’s strategies, particularly on how to best attack DeSantis’s opponents.
The resignation, announced just days prior to a contentious meeting at the PAC’s Georgia headquarters, signifies a significant shake-up within the organization.
“Never Back Down’s main goal and sole focus has been to elect Governor Ron DeSantis as President,” Jankowski claimed in a statement. “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.”
In the same statement, Jankowski pledged his commitment to DeSantis’s candidacy for the presidency. “For the future of our country I support and pray Ron DeSantis is our 47th president,” he added.
Reports indicate that internal disputes over countering former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s surging popularity in polls fueled the internal turmoil. A clash between key PAC executives, including chief strategist Jeff Roe and DeSantis ally Scott Wagner, escalated to a heated confrontation during which Wagner had to be physically restrained.
NBC Reports that Desantis’ Super PAC had an emergency meeting to address Nikki Haley’s rise and a fist fight almost broke out
You’re about to see massive leaks from Desantis world
— johnny maga (@_johnnymaga) November 21, 2023
“You have a stick up your a–, Scott,” Roe shouted at Wagner, according to NBC News. “Why don’t you come over here and get it?” Wagner responded. Wagner then rose from his chair but was physically restrained by two other board members.
Speculation looms over DeSantis and Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis attributing the PAC’s ads to the decline in the governor’s presidential campaign ratings, trailing way behind former President Donald Trump.
Criticism has arisen particularly around Never Back Down’s advertisements targeting Haley’s alleged ties to China, which have seemingly backfired, with some attributing the negative sentiment to DeSantis himself, the New York Times reported.
In response to the backlash, allies of DeSantis launched a separate PAC, Fight Right, with the intention of mounting attacks against Haley. Notably, one of the ads released by this new PAC drew parallels between Haley and disgraced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
New Pro-DeSantis super PAC drops million dollar ad buy highlighting Nikki Haley’s love of Hillary Clinton. pic.twitter.com/QSYMDac9R3
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 21, 2023