Report: Sheldon Adelson Leaning Toward Endorsing Marco Rubio

Sources close to major Republican contributor tell Politico that Adelson heaped praise on Rubio's performance in recent meeting.

AP

Casino magnate and Republican Party contributor Sheldon Adelson is increasingly inclining toward backing presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, sources close to Adelson told Politico.

According to Politico, Rubio and Adelson met in the latter's offices at the Venetian Las Vegas, one of Adelson's casinos, where the mogul lauded Rubio's campaign achievements.  

Politico's sources said that though Adelson has made no decision yet on who to endorse, momentum has strongly shifted to the Florida senator's favor. An endorsement from Adelson carries with it a hefty campaign donation – in 2012, Adelson spent more than $100 million on Republican candidates. A formal endorsement could come as soon as the end of October, the sources told Politico.

Rubio's poll numbers have seen an uptick in recent weeks, and the backing of the 81-year-old Adelson would give his quest for the 2016 Republican nomination a serious boost. To outlast such well-funded establishment favorites as former Florida governor Jeb Bush, he’ll need the support of deep-pocketed contributors like Adelson, whose $32 billion net worth makes him the nation’s 12th-richest person, according to Forbes.

The Florida senator’s outspoken support for Israel is a big draw for Adelson, who owns the largest newspaper in Israel, the Yisrael Hayom freebie, and regards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a close personal friend.