- REUTERS/Chris Keane
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) just won major support from an influential billionaire who is now backing Rubio’s presidential campaign.
Hedge-fund manager Paul Singer, largely considered one of the most powerful Republican donors, has tossed his support to Rubio, The New York Times reports.
The nod from Singer could funnel millions of dollars into Rubio’s campaign, which raised a slightly underwhelming amount of cash in the last quarter. And it could earn him more attention from the GOP’s donor class.
Singer sent a letter to a coalition of donors Friday, The Times reports, making the argument for supporting Rubio.
The note characterized Rubio as the only candidate able to “navigate this complex primary process and still be in a position to defeat” Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton next year.
Singer also lauded Rubio as an “assertive decision-maker.”
The move is a coup for Rubio, as well as a significant blow to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), whose campaign has skidded in recent weeks. Bush’s poll numbers have sagged. He failed to make a splash in a widely panned GOP debate performance. And he has slashed the salaries of his campaign staff.
In contrast, Rubio has seen his personal stock rise after Wednesday night’s debate on CNBC. Rubio skillfully responded to questions from the moderators, while also deflecting pointed criticism from Bush.
- REUTERS/Rick Wilking
“We’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” Rubio told Bush at one point during the debate.
Singer is seen as a coveted partner in the GOP presidential race for his ability to bundle massive sums of money from the party’s well-heeled backers.
And, as noted by The Times’ Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Confessore, Singer’s “caution and careful vetting of candidates” could potentially add a great deal of certitude to candidates like Rubio who win Singer’s support.
That, in a field dominated by the larger-than-life real-estate mogul Donald Trump and top-polling retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson could help Rubio stake a more favorable position in the march toward the GOP presidential nomination.