WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) — Paul Singer, a billionaire businessman and leading Republican donor, endorsed presidential hopeful Marco Rubio on Friday, a move that could mean millions of dollars at a crucial time in the primary bid for the party’s nomination.
Singer, known as one of the party’s most prolific donors, gave more than $16 million to candidates and political committees in the past four years, according to Federal Election Commission records. The hedge-fund manager has donated to conservative candidates and causes that include pro-Israel groups, former Ambassador John Bolton and the Tea Party Patriots.
“He’s someone that’s successful at raising money,” Rubio told reporters at a campaign event in Orange City, Iowa. “I’m grateful that, you know, when people donate to us they buy into our agenda, and I’m glad that he has and it will help us with resources. But you know, resources alone are not enough. You have to have the right ideas and the right principles and convince people that you’re the right person for the job. But we’re grateful to have his help, obviously.”
The endorsement could spur other donors in the party to move to the Rubio camp, including those considering backing Bush. Among the unaffiliated mega-donors are David Koch, Philip Anschutz, a Denver-based oilman and entertainment entrepreneur and brokerage firm founder Charles Schwab.
Singer reportedly made his final decision on Rubio after the debate Wednesday after Bush fell flat, deciding the former Florida governor could not beat front-runner Donald Trump or others.
“It’s my highest priority to support the candidate for president who can . . navigate this complex primary process, and still be in a position to defeat Secretary Clinton in November 2016,” Singer wrote in the letter intended for his fellow donors.