Reports of a meeting with the 82-year-old would-be kingmaker
Republican presidential candidate and online gambling opponent Sen. Marco Rubio could be "the chosen one" for big-money financial support from multi-billionaire land casino owner Sheldon Adelson, US media speculated this week.
The usually reliable Washington DC publication Politico reported that Adelson is increasingly inclining toward backing Rubio, according to sources close to the major Republican Party donor.
Apparently the two recently held a short meeting "but one with an air of importance" and were joined by Rubio's campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, and a pair of senior Adelson advisers, Rob Goldstein and Patrick Dumont.
"Adelson, seated at the head of his conference table, heaped praise on Rubio's performance while he discussed the dynamics of the 2016 race. Those briefed on the meeting described it as short but said it had an air of importance," and:
"Rubio and Adelson have grown increasingly close, with the senator phoning the billionaire several times a month to provide in-depth updates on the state of his campaign. The two men also have detailed policy discussions, especially about international affairs and Israel — the latter a cause near and dear to the mogul."
Politico notes that Rubio's poll numbers have seen an uptick in recent weeks, and Adelson's support could give his quest for the 2016 Republican nomination a serious boost.
"In 2012, Adelson spent more than $100 million on Republican candidates," the publication observes.
Rubio's controversial rival contender for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump, greeted the Politico report with derision, tweeting:
"Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!"
He referred to the story again on Tuesday in a Fox News interview, commenting: "I think it's fine. I like Sheldon a lot, he's been a person I've known over the years. We have a very good relationship and you know I'm self-funding; I don't want anybody's money. If Sheldon gives to him, he'll have total control over Rubio and that's the problem with the way the system works — whoever gives."
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