Top GOP donor is pro-choice, self-described 'social liberal'
LAS VEGAS, December 14, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The most influential donor in the Republican Party is a self-described “social liberal” who supports abortion-on-demand and “cradle-to-grave” national health care.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, 79, donated $150 million to Republican causes during the 2012 presidential election but was required to report only $54 million. After supporting Newt Gingrich’s primary candidacy, he gave heavily to Mitt Romney.
The rest went to independent organizations such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS Super PAC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Americans for Prosperity.
“Look, I’m basically a social liberal,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
“I’m pro-choice,” he said. “Abortion shouldn’t be brought up as a political issue.”
“I’m in favor of a socialized-like health care…from cradle to grave,” he added, a position he credited to his exposure to Israel’s health care system through his Israeli-born wife, Miriam, and to his Jewish faith.
His comments add fuel to a growing division in the Republican Party between those who believe the party should jettison social issues and those who believe the Romney campaign did not do enough to reach inward to the party’s conservative base.
“If we took a softer stance on those several issues, social issues, that I referred to, then I think that we would have won the most recent election,” Adelson told Commentary magazine. “If somebody wants to have an abortion, let them have an abortion.”
He personally funds stem cell research, as well.
Adelson, who left the Democratic Party in 1992, is certain to have an impact on the GOP’s future. He has promised to double-down on his contributions in the 2016 presidential race.
With one presidential election barely completed, 2016 hopefuls have already sought Adelson’s favor.
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Politico revealed that one week after election day, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell met Adelson in Las Vegas during the Republican Governors Association conference.
Former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges said, “A group of five people could contribute $10 million each and finance a substantial primary campaign for a candidate, so there is probably more of an effort right now focused on trying to look at those people who are capable of being very large donors, rather than soliciting or developing the network of bundlers that were out there in the past.”
The 79-year-old chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation ranks number 12 on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people in America, with a net worth of $20.5 billion.
While some may question whether one person should have such disproportionate influence in a major political party, Adelson dismissed his critics. “What right do they have to criticize me?” he asked.
The Vegas tycoon is not the only major donor to attempt to change the course of the GOP.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent, heavily financed four New York state senators who voted to redefine marriage.
Three of the four have since been turned out of office.
The New York Times reported on Thursday, “One, facing the prospect of a tough challenge, decided not to run again; a second was defeated by a more conservative Republican in a primary, and on Thursday, a third conceded defeat after a monthlong paper-ballot counting process in a three-way race in which a more conservative candidate drew so many votes from him that the race was won by a Democrat.”