Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has donated $5 million to a super political action committee that supports Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the Washington Post reported.
The donation to the Super PAC Winning Our Future could be part of a conservative effort to level the playing field as the GOP campaign moves to South Carolina and Florida later this month. Pro-Mitt Romney Super PACs flooded the airwaves with ads in Iowa, helping the former Massachusetts governor eke out a narrow win.
As the Forward reported in December, Adelson has been a major Gingrich supporter for decades. Best known as a donor to Jewish and conservative causes, Adelson ranked eighth on Forbes’s 2011 list of the wealthiest Americans.
The pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future has yet to report the Adelson donation. The $5 million donation, which the New York Times also reported came from Adelson, could have a significant impact on the Super PAC’s role in upcoming primaries. Winning our Future spent only $1.2 million in support of Gingrich as of January 2, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, whereas the pro-Romney Restore our Future has spent $4.4 million opposing Gingrich.
Adelson’s relationship with Newt Gingrich has been well known among Jewish Republicans.
“They have been tremendous fans and supporters of Newt from day one,” Fred Zeidman, a Texas oil executive and prominent Republican Jewish supporter of Romney, said of Adelson and his wife Miriam in December.
The giant gift would mark Adelson’s first major contribution to the pro-Gingrich effort, besides $2,000 gifts from Adelson and his wife earlier in the cycle.
Although Adelson had not yet donated heavily to the pro-Gingrich effort, he has not hidden his support for the former House speaker. In December, Gingrich described the Palestinians as an “invented” people in an interview with The Jewish Channel. Days later, Adelson echoed his remarks in a speech to a group of participants in the Taglit-Birthright Israel program, of which Adelson is a major supporter.
“Read the history of those who call themselves Palestinians, and you will hear why [Newt] Gingrich said recently that the Palestinians are an invented people,” Adelson said, according to Haaretz.
Gingrich has lashed out at Romney over his Super PAC-funded ads, which Gingrich partially blamed for his loss in Iowa in a late-night concession speech. In a debate on January 8, Gingrich asked Romney to take responsibility for the ads. Romney noted that federal election law requires that Super PACs act independently of candidates.
Winning Our Future has released a 27-minute film attacking Romney for his role at Bain Capital, the Times reported. The long video includes teary interviews with workers who were laid off after their companies were bought by Bain.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.