Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has never struggled to raise grassroots cash, but a month or so into his presidential campaign, questions are surfacing about his ability to secure big donors like his fellow GOP contenders.
Politico raised the issue in an article published on Friday, asking if the self-styled libertarian populist is running out of time to find a sugar daddy.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) has the clearest backing of the business community and several large donors within it; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has hedge fund manager Robert Mercer; Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has a Miami auto dealer and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) has Foster Friess.
Meanwhile, the most visible thing Paul has done so far is reportedly receive assurances from pro-Israel casino magnate Sheldon Adelson that he had no intention of trying to torpedo his campaign.
The Politico piece raised several possible reasons for Paul’s failure to secure a megadonor so far, from his “anti-establishment posture” to the perception that he is “insufficiently pro-Israel.”
Others contend that Paul’s unpolished style might be working against him as he seeks out the support of wealthy Republican benefactors, While attending a California donor conference sponsored by Charles and David Koch, two of the nation’s most powerful Republican donors, Paul was criticized for dressing casually in jeans, slouching in his chair and giving rambling answers to questions. One person briefed on the Kochs’ thinking said Paul’s star has faded in their eyes, and that it’s now hard to see them providing substantial financial support to the Kentucky senator.
Read the full article at Politico.