The $10 Million Question: Will Gingrich Meet Adelson?
February 3rd, 2012
03:14 PM ET
11 years ago

The $10 Million Question: Will Gingrich Meet Adelson?

Washington (CNN) - You may be able to call him Newt Gingrich's savior. Many political experts say without his help Gingrich's campaign would not be alive today. Multi-billionaire, Nevada casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, each donated $5 million at different crucial periods last month to the super PAC supporting Gingrich's bid, Winning Our Future.

The contribution by Adelson came at a critical time allowing the super PAC to go on the air with millions of dollars of ads in South Carolina attacking Mitt Romney's record as head of Bain Capital fueling questions about the former Massachusetts governor. Mrs. Adelson's donation gave the super PAC the needed funds to go on the air in Florida with millions of dollars of ads and helping to somewhat dent the huge financial advantage Romney and his allies had in the Sunshine State. Still, Gingrich and his super PAC were outspent by about 5-1 in Florida.

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But Adelson and his family's recent help have also stirred some controversy with some Republican activists thinking the generous aid is helping to lengthen the primary contest and divide the party.

So far it is not known whether he or his family will pony up any more money to support Gingrich. Counting contributions from two of Adelson's step daughters and a son-in-law the family is responsible for $11 million for the super PAC.

Adelson became friends with Gingrich when he was House speaker in the 1990's. They both share an interest in supporting Israel. Adelson previously gave $7.7 million to American Solutions for Winning the Future, a think tank founded by Gingrich after he left Congress.

So wouldn't it be natural for the two to meet this week while Gingrich is campaigning in Nevada?

So far they haven't. Gingrich is staying in one of the hotels owned by Adelson during his Nevada trip.

Some Nevada GOP insiders said they would assume the two would get together sometime, but time is running out. A spokesman for Adelson refused comment on whether a meeting will happen. A spokesman for Gingrich didn't respond to a request for comment.

One complication is that the super PAC and its supporters cannot legally coordinate activities with a campaign so if the two do see each other they would not be able to discuss Adelson's contributions.

Adelson is also trying to distance himself from a separate controversy surrounding a special evening caucus being held Saturday night.

Some orthodox Jewish Republicans had said they could not participate in a caucus meeting being held during the day on Saturday because they cannot drive and are not supposed to take part in non-religious activities. Adelson, through a spokesman, tried to tamp down questions by issuing a statement this week saying he did not push for the special caucus and is in fact not orthodox although he is Jewish. The evening caucus is being held at a school bearing his name and to which he has donated, but his spokesman said Adelson was not involved in deciding the location.

Since 1990, Adelson has given $10.5 million in political contributions. While he has donated some to Democrats, most of his money has gone to Republicans, including President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain and Nevada candidates Dean Heller, Sue Lowden and Joe Heck.

– CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon contributed to this story.

You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN.

Filed under: 2012 • Nevada • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. diridi

    These idiots are buying the Democracy. ha...this Election is all about Rich v/s Middle Class Americans. Wake up, vote all the congress idiots out, God bless.

    February 3, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Jamie from Riverside

    Sheesh! what an ugly man!
    I cannot imagine this bloated face being the face of the leader of the free world.

    February 3, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    Kevin, you forgot to remove the instructions for reporters to post stuff on the Ticker:

    Copy a post
    Copy a post
    Use existing post as a template

    We begin to perceive the problems of modern journalism thanks to this simple error. Far more enlightening than the piece itself, which basically said, "Will Gingrich talk to the guy who owns the hotel in which he's staying and who also runs his SuperPAC?"

    February 3, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Las Vegas Collection agency

    Actuall Adelson is looking for Newt-he wants his $15 million back.

    February 3, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Jamie from Riverside

    Wehn I first saw the picture at the top of the column i thought this was going to be a story about Slobodan Milosevic.

    February 3, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Corporations are people, too.

    February 3, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Of course he will. How else will he pick up the $5M in cash this time to help buy the election?

    February 3, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. jaywing

    The GOP plan to fix the economy: Rich people giving rich people money they've sucked from middle-class and poor people. GOP Economic Plan = Vampire Capitalism.

    February 3, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Jamie from Riverside "Sheesh! what an ugly man!"

    Thank you for that in-depth well thought out argument. (not)

    You have just exposed the reason why the RNC and Obama can play voters like you with cute pictures, hand waving, and high priced glitzy ads.

    February 3, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Hey, does anyone here regard Newt as a safe investment at this point?

    February 3, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. T'sah From Virginia

    Nope! The only one ginGRINCH will meet one day is his maker!

    Obama 2012

    February 3, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Bill

    Gingrich only has one question for Adelson:

    "What is thy bidding, my Master?"

    February 3, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. E L Mittens

    Corporations are people? I'll believe it when Ricky Perry executes one down in Texas!!!

    February 3, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Larry in Houston

    10 Million dollar Question ??? Will Adelson Meet "the newter" ? or is it the other way around ?? My gut feeling is saying, that 'ol Sheldon is "waiting" and I mean "waiting" on how many states the newter can carry, first, before he sends anymore "resources" to the newter. If the sheldon sees the newter can carry 3 or 4 more states, then he will move the carrot closer to the newter. Because, believe me, the newter "needs" the "resources" to go on.

    Larry IN Houston

    February 3, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Will they meet face to face for all the world to see? Only if they're stupid, which I don't think they are. Let your fingers do the walking. Pay cash for a disposable cell phone and call one another. Untraceable.

    February 3, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. gg

    I think porky will go to the market

    February 3, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. Backdoorpalin

    Adelson got a new lap dog....His name is Newt....Wonder how long before the Koch Brothers buy in on this....

    February 3, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Quote of the day! From E L Mittens.

    "Corporations are people? I'll believe it when Ricky Perry executes one down in Texas!!!"

    February 3, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. unsub

    must be nice to "donate" 5 mil

    February 3, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. NVa Native

    Gingeritch is and has been a very ugly person, and my statement has nothing to do with his looks.

    February 3, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. DENNA

    We can thank the Supreme Court "justices" for this. Corporations are NOT PEOPLE. The Republican primary is being drawn out by the ability to buy nasty commercials. What has democracy come down to? However, it is fun watching Republicans cannibalize each other. By all means, drag this sucker out until the RNC convention. I hope Newt wins the nomination. It will fun watching Republicans fix THAT problem. LOL

    February 3, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  22. Thomas

    What dose he get for 5 mil ?

    February 3, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. DENNA

    @ Jamie from Riverside-Sheesh! what an ugly man!
    I cannot imagine this bloated face being the face of the leader of the free world.
    You've got that right. And his voice is waaayy too feminine. He is quite possibly the most repulsive man I have ever seen. I was a Clinton supporter, but never thought him attractive. Well compared to Newt Bill is George Clooney.

    February 3, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    The Koch Brothers are already in this. Who do you think finances the Tea Party? The Newt doesn't speak unless one of the Brothers reaches up his behind and makes his mouth move. They financed most of the Tea Party candidates including Bachmann and Ron Paul. Their problem is that their candidates generally end up showing themselves to be insane, bigots long before they get enough support to be a real danger.

    February 3, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. george of the jungle

    10.5 million would have saved a lot of homes in Nevada . I guess Adelson is more interested in having someone in power as an allie. I love how the repos want to help the American people. Now they get a special caucus for religious reasons and a super pac so they can pick a president. The repos should try spending some of that money in their own community. Oh well mitt did call the mayor of reno with condolences that cost a couple of bucks.Obama/Biden 2012

    February 3, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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