If former president Donald Trump does indeed run again as is widely expected, he will do so without the support of one of the most powerful people in news: media magnate Rupert Murdoch. Even worse for The Donald, the mogul and one of his sons are reportedly impressed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Trump has teased an important announcement set for Tuesday night from his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, and all indications are that he’s announcing his intent to run again.
From the U.K.’s i News:
“We [Murdoch’s News Corp.] have been clear with Donald. There have been conversations between them during which Rupert made it clear to Donald that we cannot back another run for the White House,” a senior News Corp source told the i newspaper.
This probably didn’t come as a complete surprise to Trump, as some of Murdoch’s outlets have been savaging the ex-president recently, with the Wall Street Journal editorial board calling him “the Republican Party’s biggest loser.” The NY Post wasn’t much kinder:
In case you’re wondering what Rupert Murdoch is thinking pic.twitter.com/uXHFCxWqYl
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) November 10, 2022
Murdoch is the chairman of Fox News and News Corp, which has under its banner the Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins Publishing, Sky News, and the NY Post among its many outlets. In other words, the dude has some serious firepower.
Meanwhile, Murdoch’s son Lachlan is reportedly high on DeSantis:
It is also understood that Mr Murdoch’s son Lachlan, who is co-chairman of News Corp and chief executive of Fox News’ parent company Fox Corporation, has informed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that the family’s media clout would get behind him should he run for the White House, even if Mr Trump stands against him and whether Joe Biden is the Democrat candidate or not.
“Lachlan has been keen on Ron for some time,” said the source. “He’s viewed within the organisation as a sanitised version of Donald.”
One then can only imagine that the Murdochs were none too pleased when Trump called the governor “DeSanctimonius” at a rally last week. On the other hand, their faith in DeSantis presumably further increased after his powerful performance in the midterms.
The Murdochs’ distaste for Trump, which reportedly strengthened after the events at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is so strong that they would even consider backing a Democrat against Trump “for the sake of stability and a sensible White House”:
🔴 Exclusive: Rupert Murdoch has told Donald Trump that he will not back any attempt by the former president to return to the White House and could even back a Democrat against him, sources close to the media mogul have told @theipaper
— i newspaper (@theipaper) November 14, 2022
I find it hard to believe that the Rupert Murdoch of all people would put his considerable weight behind a Democrat candidate, but stranger things have happened.
I wrote Monday about how the cries to “Dump Trump” were getting louder by the minute, but that he wasn’t going anywhere. However, losing the support of this powerful family and their influential media outlets will severely hamper Trump’s ability to get out of the primaries, much less win a general election.
I can’t help but wonder what Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are thinking right now.