Understand that I have nothing against billionaires per se. And nothing against Marco Rubio. But why is one the overwhelming favorite of the others?
Ken Griffin, one of the Republican Party’s biggest donors, is backing Marco Rubio for president, the latest top-tier financier to align with Rubio in recent months.
Griffin, the wealthiest man in Illinois and the head of the investment firm Citadel, told CNBC on Wednesday that he would back Rubio and give “several million dollars” to Rubio’s super PAC, which can accept unlimited contributions. Rubio’s campaign confirmed the planned support.
Some of the leading Republican moneymen over the past eight weeks have formally committed to Rubio, who has not built as much money for his campaign as he has buzz. Griffin had previously told CNBC that he was deciding between Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who won much of the early money from the Republican establishment.
Paul Singer, a leading Republican fundraiser and donor, is endorsing Marco Rubio in his bid for the presidency.
Singer is one of the GOP’s leading bundlers, and is able to easily invest millions of dollars into a super PAC. He is likely to make a large contribution to one of the outside groups allied with Rubio’s presidential campaign. And it could help Rubio’s official campaign — which only raised $6 million in the most recent fundraising quarter — raise the cash necessary to challenge Bush.
Beyond his veneer of reasonableness, however, Rubio has established himself as the most adept of the Republican candidates at regurgitating the militaristic talking points of the party’s neoconservative wing. His competency in this regard has earned him the favor of influential hawkish donors like Sheldon Adelson, as well as an array of neoconservative political operatives.
In April, Politico reported that Rubio has “reached out to Adelson more often than any other 2016 candidate” and “provided him with the most detailed plan for how he’d manage America’s foreign policy.” The piece added that Rubio phones Adelson “every two weeks” and is the “clear frontrunner” to win the “Sheldon Adelson primary.” A follow-up article in October added that a “formal endorsement” is imminent, “and with it, the potential for a multimillion dollar contribution.”
Though one billionaire is unimpressed:
Rubio’s courtship of the controversial mega-donor has spurred criticism even from Donald Trump, who tweeted in October: “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!”
Here’s another pro-Rubio billionaire:
Rubio’s political career was in fact jump-started by powerful donors in the ideological vein of Adelson and Singer. Norman Braman, a Florida businessman with a decisively hawkish attitude on U.S. Middle East policy, has been the “single-largest backer of Rubio’s presidential campaign” thus far, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). Braman, a billionaire who’s funded illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, took Rubio on a trip to Israel shortly after he was elected to the Senate.
“Illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank”—you mean, towns in Judea and Samaria where Jews live? What a loaded sentence! Editorialize much?
Sina Toossi is the assistant editor of Right Web, a project that monitors the efforts of militarists to influence U.S. foreign policy.
I do that, too, but to give them encouragement.