An ambassador who served during the Trump administration has decided not to endorse his former boss for president.
Donald Tapia, who was the U.S. ambassador to Jamaica from 2019 to 2021, said he would support Florida Gov. DeSantis, should the governor decide to make a bid for the White House in 2024, according to Politico.
“The name-calling has turned a lot of people off,” Tapia said when referring to former President Donald Trump. “Let me tell you, we don’t like that.”
Days before the 2022 midterm elections, Trump began calling the Florida governor “Ron DeSanctimonious.” The former president used the same term in a recent post on his Truth Social account.
“Florida was doing GREAT long before Ron DeSanctus got there,” Trump wrote on Feb. 21. “People are fleeing from New York to Florida (and other places) because of high TAXES and out of control CRIME, not because of Governor (thank you President Trump!) DeSanctimonious.”
According to the news outlet, Tapia donated six figures to Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, and has since donated more than $50,000 to DeSantis’ reelection bid. Additionally, he has also hosted fundraisers for the Florida governor.
Tapia also predicted that DeSantis’ three-day-long donor retreat at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach beginning on Friday will be “overwhelmingly” attended by former Trump supporters, according to the outlet.
Tapia once served in the U.S. Air Force and was chairman and CEO of Essco Group Management, an electrical company in Arizona, for more than three decades before retiring in 2010. After his retirement, he devoted his time to philanthropic work, including serving on the board of directors of the Sun Angel Foundation and Endowment at Arizona State University.
In May 2018, Trump announced his intention to nominate Tapia as U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica.
In a statement (pdf) prepared for his Senate nomination hearing in July 2018, Tapia said he was “firmly committed to building our partnership with the Jamaican government in the areas of security, prosperity, energy, education, and health.”
By Frank Fang