Rubio Snags Support From Influential Billionaire

Leah Barkoukis
|
Posted: Oct 31, 2015 4:43 PM
Rubio Snags Support From Influential Billionaire

Republican billionaire Paul Singer has thrown his weight and his wallet behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

As one of the wealthiest and most influential donors, Singer has been courted by Govs. Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, but it was Rubio the New York investor believed could “navigate this complex primary process, and still be in a position to defeat” Hillary Clinton, he told other donors in a letter on Friday.

Rubio “is accustomed to thinking about American foreign policy as a responsible policy maker,” Singer wrote. “He is ready to be an informed and assertive decision-maker.”

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Singer, who gave more money to Republican candidates and causes last year than any donor in the country, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, is courted by Republicans both for the depth of his own pockets and for his wide network of other conservative givers. He is known for his caution and careful vetting of candidates and, while passionately pro-Israel and a supporter of same-sex marriage, he is generally viewed as a donor who does not believe in litmus tests.

In recent years, he has frequently deployed his network to cultivate up-and-coming Republicans who he believes can help expand the party’s demographic appeal. […]

But Mr. Singer provides something that some other coveted Republican donors do not. Unlike Sheldon Adelson, a fellow Republican billionaire and Israel supporter, Mr. Singer is an assiduous and effective “bundler” for candidates: In the 2012 campaign, he raised more than $3 million to try to help elect Mitt Romney, the eventual Republican nominee. Many other donors, particular in the New York financial world, turn to Mr. Singer’s political advisers for strategic guidance on their own donations.

And Mr. Rubio, who struggled to raise campaign cash over the summer and has relied heavily on outside groups to pay for advertisements promoting him, needs their help.

Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant welcomed the support, noting that the campaign has “a lot of work to do before Marco wins the nomination, but clearly this moves us in the right direction.”

Singer said Rubio was the “best explainer of conservatism in public life today, and one of the best communicators the modern Republican Party has seen.”

The Republican hopeful “can appeal to both the head and the heart,” he added.