Republican consultant Jeff Roe is reportedly drawing heat from Trump world after previosuly serving as the top adviser to the pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down.
Citing four sources familiar with conversations, Politico’s Daniel Lippman first reported former President Donald Trump and close allies “have told down-ballot Republican candidates not to hire Republican strategist Jeff Roe or his political consulting firm,” Axiom Strategies.
One anonymous source told the outlet Roe and his firm “are enemy No.1.”
“It’s an open secret that candidates who want to stay on President Trump’s good side should not hire Axiom,” the person emphasized. The outlet reports that Republicans who do not heed the warning could find themselves in conflict with the Trump campaign – something no pragmatic down-ballot GOP candidate wants, especially if Trump is at the top of the ticket.
Roe is widely regarded as a top Republican strategist and has worked in varying capacities in a number of prominent GOP campaigns, ranging from serving as campaign manager for Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) failed White House bid in 2016 to being a top adviser to Gov. Glen Youngkin (R-VA) during his monumental win in Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election.
And while both Roe and Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung declined to provide comment for Politico’s story, Axiom Strategies president Rob Phillips defended the firm’s record and indicated it was receptive to Trump’s call for the party and country to come together after his win in the Iowa Caucuses.
“Answering President Trump’s call for unity on Monday night, we are going to change this country for the better by electing conservatives,” Phillips said in a statement.
Roe’s tenure as the top Never Back Down strategist ended in December, a month after it was reported infighting befell the super PAC.
NBC News reported that Roe “got into a heated argument with longtime DeSantis confidant Scott Wagner” during a small meeting among PAC leaders in November while they were strategizing around former Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R-SC) ascension in the polls.
The altercation, which reportedly almost turned physical, occurred amid budgeting talks and included a crass exchange between the men, per NBC News:
“You have a stick up your a–, Scott,” Roe fumed at Wagner, who is a member of the Never Back Down board.
“Why don’t you come over here and get it?” Wagner responded, rising from his chair. He was quickly restrained by two fellow board members. The interaction was relayed to NBC News by a source who was in the room.
Roe resigned from the PAC on December 16 after a Washington Post article surfaced chronicling Never Back Down’s collapse.
“I cannot in good conscience stay affiliated with Never Back Down given the statements in the Washington Post today,” a statement from Roe read. “They are not true and an unwanted distraction at a critical time for Governor DeSantis.”