US Republican mega-donor and hard-line Zionist Sheldon Adelson has decided to endorse Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
In a Washington Post op-ed published on Friday, Adelson wrote that Trump “exemplifies the American spirit of determination, commitment to cause and business stewardship.”
The casino owner, who together with his wife spent nearly $100 million in the 2012 presidential campaign cycle, had previously voiced support for Trump, but now he “strongly encourage[d]” those still on the fence about the divisive billionaire to do likewise.”
“The alternative to Trump being sworn in as the nation’s 45th president is frightening,” Adelson wrote, adding, “Republicans have fought tooth and nail against President Obama” and his “agenda.”
“We gained some victories, but on too many issues Obama achieved his goals, if not necessarily America’s goals. As Republicans, we know that getting a person in the White House with an ‘R’ behind his name is the only way things will get better.”
“He is a candidate with actual CEO experience, shaped and molded by the commitment and risk of his own money rather than the public’s,” Adelson said.
Adelson was listed by Forbes in June as having a fortune of $28 billion, making him the 18th richest person in the world.
He is a major contributor to Republican Party candidates, which has resulted in his gaining significant influence within the party.
Adelson, a Zionist Jew, has said his most important issue when considering which candidates to support in US elections is “the safety of Israel.”
Adelson had previously expressed interest in Florida Senator Marco Rubio and his wife Miriam liked Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
But after Trump’s commanding victory in Indiana’s primary earlier this month, his remaining challengers, Cruz and John Kasich, both suspended their presidential bids, leaving the businessman tycoon on an uncontested path to the Republican nomination.
Rubio dropped out of the presidential race in March after losing the Florida primary to Trump and failing to unite the Republican establishment against the billionaire businessman.
Trump’s campaign has been marked by controversial statements, including with disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants and Muslims.