DeSantis and Trump Meet In Miami

[Government of Florida, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]

Donald Trump has begun seeking a way to “unite the tribes” of the Republican Party. The former president met with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the weekend to discuss the possibility of working together to defeat Democrats in the upcoming general election. 

The pair met in Miami. 

Bloomberg reported that the meeting between the top two conservative leaders occurred because the former president sought campaign cash to take on Biden. 

The Miami meeting is a sign of rapprochement between the former president and his one-time opponent after a period of rocky relations, heightened by Trump’s attacks on DeSantis during the Republican primaries. DeSantis, once considered a potent candidate, dropped out in January.

Reaching into DeSantis’ donor pipeline could shore up funds for the presumptive Republican nominee as Trump faces a cash drain from the legal costs of his array of court cases. At the same time, President Joe Biden’s campaign widened its fundraising lead over Trump in March, raising more than $90 million.

As of April 21, Trump had just $6.8 million in the accounts he’s been using to fund his lawyers. That could drive him to tap funds from other sources to cover upcoming bills and bankroll his campaign.

Trump and his campaign are expected to hold a retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, this week with about 400 donors and several vice presidential hopefuls.

DeSantis served as one of Trump’s biggest conservative critics during the primary and the meeting was brokered by allies “in hopes of a potential détente between the two men, according to The Washington Post

The newspaper noted that “The pair met for several hours and DeSantis agreed to help Trump. The meeting was friendly, according to a person with direct knowledge.

Trump and allied groups have lagged behind President Biden and his allies in the money chase. DeSantis has built a wide network of wealthy patrons whose assistance would be valuable in helping Trump try to close the gap, and is popular with some Republican voters who are exhausted by Trump.

There is an incentive for DeSantis to form a closer relationship, as well. People close to DeSantis have said it is untenable for him to continue to have a strained relationship with Trump, particularly as he eyes his political future. He is widely viewed among Republican donors and consultants as weakened after a shellacking by Trump in the primary.

The meeting was orchestrated by Steve Witkoff, a Florida real estate investor and developer both men know, and he attended. Witkoff called the former president’s team and asked for him to meet with DeSantis, a person familiar with the matter said.”

Trump and DeSantis had not spoken since the effective end of the primary. 

The Florida governor has endorsed Trump.

[Read More: Trump Lands A Big Endorsement]