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Paul Singer Backs Marco Rubio

Paul Singer Backs Marco Rubio

Friday, 30 October 2015 08:53 PM

Marco Rubio's highly-touted debate performance on Wednesday has already yielded tangible benefits: The Republican presidential candidate has snagged the support of mega-donor Paul Singer, in a move that could prove a significant blow to rival Jeb Bush.

One of the party's most prolific and hard-to-please donors, Singer gave more than $16 million to candidates and political committees in the last four years, according to records on file with the Federal Election Commission. Fiscally conservative and socially moderate, the hedge fund manager has donated to conservative candidates and causes, such as former Ambassador John Bolton and the Tea Party Patriots, but he has donated most of his money to his own super-PAC, American Unity, which supports Republicans who back gay rights.

Over the last two presidential cycles Singer convened private meetings of his fellow wealthy New York Republicans, at which presidential candidates effectively audition for support.

Within the Bush camp, the worry now will be that Singer's endorsement will send a signal to other undecided bundlers to cast their lot with Rubio. Such is Singer's influence in the donor community that it is conceivable that his move will cause some current backers of Bush to jump ship.

After a debate performance in which his attempt to attack Rubio, a one time political protege, backfired, Bush and his top campaign aides held a conference call with donors this week in an attempt to reassure them.  For Singer, however, the debate was decisive. The billionaire investor had been leaning towards Rubio for some time, and the Bush campaign, knowing that, tried to head him off.  In a signal of how influential Singer can be, representatives for Bush in the finance community had pleaded that he hold off on making a decision--to give Jeb more time. But after what he saw on the debate stage Wednesday, Singer did not believe he would learn more with time. He did not believe Bush could beat front-runner Donald Trump, or fend off a possible surge by ultra-conservative U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, or that the son and brother of two previous presidents could beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton next November. Singer wants to consolidate support behind someone who can.

Singer eventually will provide super-PAC money on Rubio's behalf but for the short term plans to focus on bundling—collecting money from his wide network of  political donors—for Rubio's official campaign committee.

 

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Marco Rubio's highly-touted debate performance on Wednesday has already yielded tangible benefits: The Republican presidential candidate has snagged the support of mega-donor Paul Singer, in a move that could prove a significant blow to rival Jeb Bush. One of the party's...
paul, singer, backs, rubio
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2015-53-30
Friday, 30 October 2015 08:53 PM
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