Cuban-American presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, is not quite as popular as Donald Trump and Ben Carson amongst the Republican crowd, yet.
But, after trouncing Jeb Bush in the CNBC debate on Oct. 28, he has garnered a lot of new backers that seek a serious contender that is part of the GOP establishment to go against Democratic front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
One of those supporters is Paul Elliott Singer.
But who is Singer and what does he want out of a candidate?
Through his hedge fund company, Elliott Associates Corporation, Singer has become a self-made billionaire and is worth $2.1 billion.
His business practices have come under attack for absorbing debt at low prices from bankrupt companies and countries on the brink of financial collapse, only to sue for money at high-interest rates. Two of the countries that have taken the bait are the Congo and Peru. Argentina is currently countersuing.
Singer is one of few billionaires that Republicans go out of their way to court when they need donations for their political campaigns, the others being the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson. His endorsement or lack of support can make or break a candidacy.
Last year, the self-described conservative Libertarian donated $11.5 million to Republican candidates. He was a major contributor to George W. Bush’s presidential bid and supported both Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney’s run. After Romney was leading the Republican nomination in 2011, it was Singer that helped Paul Ryan snag the spot of running mate.
A Jewish New Yorker from the Upper West Side with strong ties to Wall Street, Singer is a strong pro-Israel supporter and is known as the “bundler”, because of his ability to rally other wealthy donors and guide their decisions towards a certain candidate.
Singer was one of the few financiers to predict and speak up about the downturn of the housing market and unstable global economy but was ignored. During the Great Recession, Singer’s company managed to remain unscathed as other hedge funds went under. Similar to the Republican elite, he is a defender of the 1%.
Unlike other Republicans, Singer is a supporter of LGBT rights. After his son Andrew came out to him in 1998 he became a strong advocate of fighting discrimination in the workplace for the LGBT community.
Defender of the 1%, pro-Israel and supporter of LGBT rights. Well, Rubio supports two out of the three of Singer’s initiatives. Rubio’s tax plan, which would make changes to corporate income taxes, would benefit one-percenters like Singer by giving them tax cuts. Rubio is also all for supporting a nuclear Iran deal that would include Israel and currently agrees to shut down mosques after the Paris attacks. However, while he is willing to respect those in the LGBT community that want to get married, he firmly believes that marriage
should be between one man and one woman,”
and has vaguely implied that he would overturn the current same-sex law if given the opportunity.
By next year, we will find out if Rubio, with Singer’s backing, will succeed or not.