Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson seems at peace with the prospect of Donald Trump becoming the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
“Trump is a businessman. I am a businessman. He employs a lot of people. I employed 50,000 people. Why not?” Adelson said during a gala honoring former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani on February 27 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.
The comments were reported by Israeli political blogger Tal Schneider, who obtained a video of Adelson’s remarks at the event.
“It reminds me of [a joke]: One Jewish man said to another Jewish man, ‘Do you know why Jews always answer a question with a question?’ So, the guy said, ‘Why not?’” Adelson told the crowd as he struggled to control his laughter.
“If I were running, I would have endorsed myself,” he quipped. A few days earlier, as he voted in the Nevada Caucus, Adelson joked to reporters that he voted for himself, but he was seen checking a box on the lower third of the ballot – where the names Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump appeared.
Adelson supported Giuliani’s bid for president in 2008.
Adelson did not endorse a candidate in the 2016 Republican primaries. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were considered favorites in what has been dubbed by the media as the ‘Adelson Primary.’
In December 2015, the Vegas casino mogul told reporters he will support the party’s eventual nominee. “Any one of the 14 candidates is better than what we have today, better than what the opposition has by far,” Adelson said. “So whoever becomes the nominee, I’m going to support.”
Giuliani himself also signaled his support for Trump, although he didn’t officially endorse him.
“The real Trump is thoughtful, intelligent and very well-educated. He has extensive political knowledge, and he chooses to support good people,” Giuliani told Israel Hayom, the free Israeli tabloid owned by Adelson, on Sunday. The interview was featured on the front page.