According to Reuters, billionaire Republican megadonor Peter Thiel has decided not to support any political candidates in 2024 because he disapproves of the party’s stances on a number of crucial social issues.
Thiel made this choice late last year, according to two individuals close to the tycoon, who was one of the first supporters of former President Donald Trump and campaigned for him in 2016.
A business partner of Thiel’s said that the GOP’s views on abortion and limitations on which restrooms transgender children may use in schools influenced his choice. According to the source, Thiel thinks Republicans are mistaken in focusing on culture war issues for 2024 and would rather candidates to concentrate on US innovation and competing with China.
Both sources said that Thiel, who has an estimated net worth of $8 billion, has recently made declarations to the effect that he has completely disengaged himself from US politics.
Thiel, who was born in Germany and subsequently helped develop PayPal, has plans to step away from American politics, according to four further people who verified this to Reuters. One of the sources said that this decision was prompted by worries for the safety of his family.
Thiel made a $1.25 million donation to Trump’s 2016 campaign, which made him stand out in Silicon Valley.
However, Thiel did not contribute to Trump’s campaign for re-election in 2020, according to a source close to him who told Reuters that the businessman was turned off by the commotion surrounding Trump’s persona.
According to Reuters, which used OpenSecrets statistics, Thiel gave more than $25 million to federal-level GOP candidates in 2022, making him the 10th highest contributor to any party in the midterm congressional elections.
Following reports that Republican megadonors are losing interest in Gov. Ron DeSantis, some are now saying that Thiel does not plan to support GOP candidates in 2024.
Thomas Peterffy, for instance, told the Financial Times that DeSantis’ “stance on abortion and book banning” made him and “his friends” decide not to continue supporting the Republican governor financially.