Trump Sought Adelson, Singer
They were four and then there were four, again.
The ‘Adelson primary’, as the media describes the race for the coveted endorsement of mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, had at first four candidates – Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. After Bush’s foreign policy advisor, James Baker gave a speech to J Street, Adelson dropped his name from consideration. Then Walker, who was once considered an establishment favorite and got to fly on a private jet to Israel with the help of the RJC, dropped out of the race. In the meantime, while Cruz and Rubio remain the leading candidates to win the primary, Jeb came back from the dead, according to a New York Magazine report.
But now, it appears, Donald Trump also threw his name into the mix, competing for Sheldon’s ear and support, as first reported by the NY Times. Trump, according to the report, boasted about his pro-Israel credentials in his conversation with the Vegas casino mogul. During the conversation, which took place a few months ago, Adelson told Trump that his most important issue when considering a candidate is the safety of Israel. The Republican presidential frontrunner also emphasized his personal and family ties to the Jewish community in New York.
Trump’s courtship involved “a very clear ask for money,” a source close to Adelson told Politico.
Politico reported that besides the phone call initiated by Trump, his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski reached out to Adelson’s political adviser Andy Abboud to set up a face-to-face meeting in Las Vegas back in July.
To borrow a line from the 2004 presidential election, for what it’s worth, Trump was against Adelson before he was for him. Just two and half months earlier, on April 27th, as Republican presidential candidates attended the Republican Jewish Coalition spring summit, Trump suggested that voters “are wasting” their time “with these politicians and political clowns.” Adding the hashtag #SheldonAdelson, he tweeted, “Nobody but Donald Trump will save Israel.”
In the end, Adelson, it appears, declined Trump’s offer, settling on the two Senators – Rubio and Cruz.
When Politico reported that Adelson was leaning towards picking Rubio, Trump lashed out on Twitter. “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 tweeted.
Sources close to the Rubio campaign and Adelson insist that an endorsement, if and when, is not imminent. A source close to the Cruz campaign told Jewish Insider, “Sheldon and Miriam remain in frequent and regular contact with Cruz and an endorsement is very much under consideration. Miriam has been telling people for a long time that Cruz is her first choice. The Adelsons have been impressed by Cruz’s superior fundraising and the organization in the early and Super Tuesday states, and debate performances.”
Last week, Rubio scored a major boost with the endorsement of Paul Singer.
According to Politico, Singer was also courted by Trump. Back in March, Jared Kushner, the husband of Ivanka Trump, reportedly reached out to one of Singer’s representatives to organize a meeting between him and Trump.
But after Singer announced he’s backing Rubio, Trump went on the attack. “This man Singer that put up money? He’s big on amnesty, he’s big on illegal immigration,” Trump said during a rally in New Hampshire Wednesday. “Take a look at what he represents. And he represents other things, beside. Paul Singer represents amnesty, and he represents illegal immigration pouring into the country. And now he’s with Rubio.”