Billionaire George Soros said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “is likely to be the Republican candidate” in the 2024 presidential race. But social media posts edited Soros’ remarks to falsely claim he endorsed the governor. Soros’ full remarks show that he does not support DeSantis for president and that he hopes for “a Democratic landslide.”
Former President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are among the Republicans who have officially declared they are running for president in 2024.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to make a decision about his candidacy in the spring. If he does run, polls indicate he would be a leading candidate for the party’s nomination.
One of those looking ahead to 2024 is Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, founder of the philanthropic nonprofit Open Society Foundations. During his remarks at this year’s Munich Security Conference, Soros turned to the topic of the 2024 presidential election.
Following his speech on Feb. 16, social media posts misleadingly edited statements by Soros, a megadonor for Democratic candidates, to falsely claim he was endorsing DeSantis for president.
A Feb. 16 Instagram post included a 38-second excerpt of Soros’ speech, ending the clip after he says, “DeSantis is shrewd, ruthless and ambitious. He is likely to be the Republican candidate.” A headline over the video read: “Getting any form of endorsement from George Soros as a potential Republican candidate does not do you any favors.”
That same day, a slightly longer clip appeared on Twitter, ending at the same point in Soros’ speech. The caption on the tweet said, “BREAKING: George Soros endorses DeSantis.” That tweet has received more than 1.6 million views and been retweeted over 4,500 times.
A Feb. 17 Facebook post reproduced the 47-second video shared on Twitter, with the caption, “George Soros endorses Gov. Ron DeSantis for President.” It received more than 33,000 views and 2,000 likes in one week.
On Feb. 21, Trump brought the claim to his platform, Truth Social, sharing an article from the Gateway Pundit on Soros’ comments that carried the headline “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Endorsed by George Soros.” In three days, the Truth Social post had accumulated more than 13,000 likes.
But the social media posts distort Soros’ full comments at the Munich conference (emphasis ours).
Soros, Feb. 16: My hope for 2024 is that Trump and Gov. DeSantis of Florida will slug it out for the Republican nomination. Trump has turned into a pitiful figure continually bemoaning his loss in 2020. Big Republican donors are abandoning him in droves.
DeSantis is shrewd, ruthless and ambitious. He is likely to be the Republican candidate. This could induce Trump, whose narcissism has turned into a disease, to run as a third-party candidate. This would lead to a Democratic landslide and force the Republican Party to reform itself. But perhaps I may be just a little bit biased.
The clarifying point in the original quote — ignored in the posts, however — is that Soros predicts DeSantis will be the Republican nominee but does not endorse him. Instead, Soros says a DeSantis nomination could lead to “a Democratic landslide.”
The false claims of Soros endorsing DeSantis come amid Trump’s recent attempts to label the Florida governor as a globalist, a term he has long used to characterize political opponents who support international economic cooperation. In the last month, Trump has posted repeatedly on Truth Social that DeSantis is a globalist.
Soros, who has publicly clashed with Trump before, has spent billions of dollars “across the globe fighting for freedom of expression, accountable government, and societies that promote justice and equality,” according to the Open Society Foundations. Soros has also donated millions of dollars to Democratic candidates in recent election cycles in the U.S., as we’ve written.
Soros’ spending has drawn the ire of conservatives, who often link him to prominent public figures and causes they oppose. But, as we said, Soros’ comments on DeSantis do not indicate that he supports the governor.
Laura Silber, a spokesperson for Soros’ Open Society Foundations, confirmed in a Feb. 23 email to FactCheck.org that Soros’ remarks were not an endorsement.
“Mr. Soros predicted that Gov. DeSantis ‘is likely to be the Republican candidate’ for president in 2024 — a prediction, not an endorsement,” Silber said.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control over our editorial content.
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Christensen, Sean. “Democracy PAC/Democracy PAC II.” FactCheck.org. 19 Jul 2022.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump). “https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2023/02/k…” Truth Social. 21 Feb 2023.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump). “Ron DeSanctimonious wants to cut your Social Security and Medicare, closed up Florida & its beaches, loves RINOS Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, and Karl Rove (disasters ALL!), is backed by Globalist’s Club for NO Growth, Lincoln Pervert Project, & ‘Uninspired’ Koch — And it only gets worse from there. He is a RINO in disguise!, whose Poll numbers are dropping like a rock. Good luck Ron!.” Truth Social. 18 Feb 2023.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump). “‘Support for DeSantis cools in latest GOP POLL.’ Washington Times. Of course it cools. He wants to cut Social Security and Medicare, loves ‘Throw them over the cliff’ Paul Ryan, who is destroying FoxNews and the WSJ, Piglet Karl Rove, and ‘Jeb.’ Also, Ron DeSanctimonious is for Globalist Club For NO Growth, and Open Borders Charles Koch. We want AMERICA FIRST, NOT AMERICA LAST!!!.” Truth Social. 19 Feb 2023.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump). “Thank you. The real Ron is a RINO GLOBALIST, who closed quickly down Florida and even its beaches. Loved the Vaccines and wasted big money on ‘Testing.’ How quickly people forget!.” Truth Social. 1 Feb 2023.
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump). “The Club For No Growth is a GLOBALIST group that I have been taking to the cleaners for years. We worked together for a period, but they couldn’t get away from China, Europe, Asia, and part’s unknown. They know I won’t play that game, I am America First all the way. That’s the ONLY way we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Ron DeSanctimonious, who I made Governor in BOTH the Primary & the General, is also a Globalist, & so are his donors. Jeb ‘Low Energy’ Bush was next to him last week. Check PAST!.” Truth Social. 30 Jan 2023.
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I Meme Therefore I Am (@ImMeme0). “BREAKING: George Soros endorses DeSantis.” Twitter. 16 Feb 2023.
Laura Silber. OpenSocietyFoundations.org. Accessed 24 Feb 2023.
montanasmic. “WHY IS SOROS SUPPORTING DESANTIS ? Everything that’s coming out is so crazy! I mean, if you really look at every single thing from 911 until now it’s like holy shit how corrupt is America? I pray that this all flips around and people finally go to jail in there is justice.” Instagram. 16 Feb 2023.
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Sorkin, Andrew Ross. “George Soros Has Enemies. He’s Fine With That.” New York Times. 25 Oct 2019.
Stack, Liam. “Globalism: A Far-Right Conspiracy Theory Buoyed by Trump.” New York Times. 14 Nov 2016.