Adelson makes his case for backing GOP
November 5th, 2012
12:50 PM ET
1 year ago

Adelson makes his case for backing GOP

(CNN) – The billionaire casino mogul who pumped millions into pro-Republican efforts this year - most notably groups backing Newt Gingrich and then Mitt Romney's bids for the White House - penned an op-ed on the eve of Election Day explaining why he is backing the GOP.

Though media-shy in the past, Sheldon Adelson has been more open recently. He wrote in The Wall Street Journal Sunday night that he was raised a Democrat, "typical of the Jews of Boston in the 1930s and '40s," but switched not because he earned his way into wealth, but because the Democratic Party "has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing."

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"There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats, a disturbing development that my parents' generation would not have ignored," he wrote, citing a poll as well as the tumult at the Democratic National Convention this summer over the removal and eventual inclusion of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in the party platform.

The changing values of Democrats, he said, has also impacted the way they approach the role of government, charity, and business in the United States.

"Whenever President Obama deplores the wealthy ('fat-cat bankers,' 'millionaires and billionaires,' 'at a certain point you've made enough money,' and so on), it tells me that he has failed to learn the economic lessons of Illinois, and that he still doesn't understand the vital role entrepreneurs play in creating jobs in our society," Adelson wrote in the Journal.

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, backed Gingrich through the GOP primaries and were the primary bankrollers of the key super PAC supportive of the former House speaker's bid, which launched some harsh attacks on Romney. Adelson's team said the contributions were made without directives about how the money be spent.

After meeting with Romney this spring, including an hour and a half sit-down in his Las Vegas office, Adelson and his wife backed Romney as the party nominee and attended the former Massachusetts governor's fundraiser in Jerusalem this summer.

The Center for Responsive Politics said the Adelsons have invested over $53 million into outside groups this cycle, making them the top donors to such groups. The center notes their numbers include only disclosed contributions, while not all political groups are not required to disclose their donors.

Adelson noted that he differs with the GOP on some issues, but, like his "old immigrant Jewish neighbors" in Boston, would side with the party they find common ground with on the most important issues.

"Although I don't agree with every Republican position - I'm liberal on several social issues - there is enough common cause with the party for me to know I've made the right choice," he wrote. "The Democratic Party just isn't what it used to be."

– CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    did Mittens vote for Obama?

    November 5, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. robisrael

    Mr. Adelson has made a tragic error for the people he is supposed to be a part of. Aligning himself with the far right is a move that promotes the diminished separation between church and state – something that was an absolutely critical issue to his parents after the Holocaust. The failure to see this will come back to haunt Jews and other religious minorities in Jfuture.
    He also has a very limited perspective on real Jewish values if he feels it is appropriate to spend so much money on making whose own political views stand out outlandishly instead of using it to help support less fortunate people than himself. There is nothing in Jewish belief that says the wealthy should have a dramatically out-sized influence in a democratic process. Mr Abelson is a disgrace to his own people and their beliefs and acts like he is morally bankrupt. (from a zionist)

    November 5, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Rose

    I think this couple is trying to buy a war with Iran.

    November 5, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Skeeve

    53 millions to a political party... what a waste of money.

    November 5, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Bob

    That's right. Greedy billionaires back Romney. Ask yourself this. If Romney and Ryan are so great, why are none of the states they call home voting for them? Don't you think the people of Massachusetts who lived under Romney-rule for four years (whose "leadership" left them 47th in the nation in job creation) would know better than anyone what a Romney President would be like? They're solidly voting for Obama. The same with Ryan's Wisconsin. And just look at who the GOP has painted as the "villains" this election cycle. Scientists (with their pesky facts), teachers (with their history), immigrants (if you're not white they don't consider you a "real" American and want to see your ID), civil rights attorneys, blue collar workers, union members, the disabled, U.S. auto workers, retired people, and veterans (they're part that lazy 47% Mitt sneers at). Now look at who the GOP considers "heroes". Billionaires (who just sit on their money), SuperPACs, oil companies (the GOP wanted to apologize to BP the Gulf getting all its wildlife in BP's nice, clean oil), vulture capitalists (Newt Gingrinch's term). According to Mitt, the world would be perfect if we didn't have all those pesky pollution laws (what's a little contaminated drinking water when we can get an extra six months of oil?), safety regulations (those BP workers knew the risk!), consumer labeling laws (beef, rat meat- what's the difference?).

    November 5, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Emma in Baltimore

    “But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. "Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

    November 5, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. cali girl

    No way no how should a billionaire casino owner be able to dictate what Americans get.
    We are not for sale.

    November 5, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Mark Blumler

    What is Adelson talking about? Ever since Israel moved its capital to Jerusalem, a long time ago, no country has recognized the move. The various foreign embassies, including ours, are still in Tel-Aviv. So how is the Democratic Party becoming more anti-Israel when it has actually moved towards the Israeli position and away from everyone else in the world's? The big change here is not in the Democrats, but in the Republican Party. In Eisenhower's time, they were neutral about Israel, and now they are knee-jerk supporters, particularly the neo-cons who believed that invading Iraq would make Arabs love Israel (yeah, like that made any sense). I don't really blame Adelson for liking the change in the Republican Party, but to blame the Dems is dishonest. More to the point, it illustrates that Adelson, and others like him, is not really American. He puts another country's interests before ours.

    November 5, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Jules

    There could be no greater justice than for Mitt Romney to lose and Adelson's millions go down the toilet for naught. It will be a great day in America if the peons like me vote together and shut down all those secret billionaires that tried to buy the presidency of the USA. As some of them said – all they need from Romney is working digits so he can sign the bills they want into law.

    November 5, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. curious

    A large number of Democratics dropped the party because of it's support for the civial rights movements. Good riddance. America was founded on a principle of personal freedoms and not a policy of economics. Instead of steadfastly supporting the country of his success, he supports his persnal wealth. If he cared about America's social issues, he would'nt support republicans.

    November 5, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. BigTBone

    The democratic party isn't what it used to be? My gawd the bubble is impenetrable for these buffoons.

    $53 million to elect people rooted in a 1950's version of America that kisses Israel's butt?

    Kind of hard to make the case for overtaxation when you've got that kind of chump change to sway elections...

    November 5, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. buckles

    on pg 29 of there poll they state the brake down of the people called for the poll was 41% democrats, 29% independents and 30% republicans and it is a tie. Does this mean a lot of democrats are not casting a vote for oboma.

    November 5, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    ""typical of the Jews of Boston in the 1930s and '40s," but switched not because he earned his way into wealth, but because the Democratic Party "has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing." "

    Largest change int he Democratic party during Adelson's lifetime: 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Dixiecrats moving to the GOP. I'd bet all my chips on this Adelson jerk frequently using the word "schwarze" to describe Obama behind closed doors.

    November 5, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. FG

    If Mittens wins the election will Anderson be considered co-owner of the White House or the US?

    November 5, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Bill

    I wonder if Romney will refund his 25 million after he loses the election?

    November 5, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    Color blinded idiot needs to vanish. Thug of GOP.

    November 5, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. july4ther

    There is a simpler motive for this businessman's actions – he and Sands is under investigation by Treasury department for his dealing with Chinese (Macau) operations. True to Vegas style, he has bet a few millions on 2 horses (Gingrich and Romney). If it works out, they will owe him big time.

    November 5, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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