Sheldon Adelson is slowly exiting his self-imposed exile from the political arena and finally commenting on the current 2016 race for the White House.
During an event last month honoring former New York City mayor and past presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, Adelson told reporters that he will ultimately support whoever becomes the Republican Party nominee to replace President Barack Obama.
At the time, 14 candidates still remained in the race.
“Any one of the 14 candidates is better than what we have today,” Adelson said. “So whoever becomes the nominee, I’m going to support.”
Adelson’s comments were recently made public after Israeli political blogger Tal Schneider obtained video of the Giuliani event.
Adelson, who founded the Las Vegas Sands empire, went so far as to reveal that he would endorse frontrunner Donald Trump.
“Trump is a businessman, I am a businessman. He employs a lot of people. I employed 50,000 people. Why not?” Adelson asked.
Along with his wife Miriam, Adelson gave upwards of $100 million during the 2012 presidential election cycle, with every penny going into the pockets of Republican candidates or conservative super PACs.
Trump is largely self-funding his primary campaign but has tipped his hand in interviews that he might be open to more substantial donations in the general election.
The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) has been near the top of Adelson’s congressional crusades in recent years. RAWA would restore the Wire Act to its 2011 understanding before the Department of Justice opined the federal law applied only to sports betting.
Should RAWA eventually be passed, states like Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware would need to reverse their state laws to place online poker and gambling back into prohibition.
Fortunately for Internet poker fans, RAWA’s odds of passage are worse than winning the jackpot on a slot machine.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) was one of the signatories of the latest version of RAWA and was largely assumed to be Adelson’s preferred candidate. With Rubio now out, RAWA seems destined for the US Capitol’s filing room.
Sheldon Adelson is worth an estimated $30 billion, and while figuring out his precise net worth is a complicated process best reserved to financial experts, the billionaire is rather simple when it comes to his politics.
In addition to national security, smaller government, and an economic policy promoting lower taxes, a core fundamental of Adelson’s principles is supporting a candidate that embraces a pro-Israel foreign policy.
That creates a problem for Adelson and Trump, as the real estate and former casino billionaire turned politician said in February that he would be “neutral” on the Israeli and Palestine conflict.
Israel and Palestine have been at odds since the mid-20th Century over a peace agreement. The decades-long conflict has resulted in over 21,000 causalities from low-level combat being wagered between Israel and Gaza forces.
“Let me be sort of a neutral guy,” Trump said during an MSNBC town hall. “You understand a lot of people have gone down in flames trying to make that deal . . . I don’t want to say whose fault it is.”