Las Vegas gaming tycoon and Israel Hayom proprietor Sheldon Adelson.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In a slightly ironic message uploaded to social media Sunday, the son of casino tycoon and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson posted to Twitter a photo of himself holding a "Vote for Hillary Clinton" poster written in crude marker.
It's not clear if Adam Adelson's social media message was intended to be sarcastic, or a sincere gesture of support for the Democratic presidential candidate.
Never-the-less, the tweet comes as a bit of a surprise given that the elder Adelson was the largest single financial backer of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romeney in 2012. Adelson boosted Republican electoral prospects with $90 million to $100m. in donations that year, making him the biggest donor to contribute on either side of the aisle.
Given his generosity in the past, even more striking is Adelson's spending habits in this year's presidential cycle.
Adelson made known his support for Donald Trump’s bid for president in May, but he has not yet donated to his struggling campaign, according to recently released Federal Election Commission filings.
His failure to donate thus far also runs in contravention to reporting from The New York Times
in May, which quoted two senior Republicans directly knowledgeable of Adelson’s commitments to the Trump campaign. In conversation, the Times reported, Sheldon told Trump that “he was willing to contribute more to help elect him than he has to any previous campaign.”
Last spring, Adelson said the New York real-estate tycoon would be a guarantor of Israel’s security should he be elected president. Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, is an unacceptable choice, he said.
“Like many of you, I do not agree with him on every issue,” Adelson wrote to Jewish Republican figures at the time, in a letter then obtained by the Associated Press.
“However, I will not sit idly by and let Hillary Clinton become the next president. The consequences to our country, and Israel, are far too great to take that risk.”
Adelson followed up with an op-ed in The Washington Post, underscoring his support.
At the Republican National Convention last month, Adelson refused Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s entry to his donor suite after the candidate declined to endorse Trump in his prime-time floor speech. An adviser to Adelson later sent out a photo on social media of Adelson, his wife and Trump, giving thumbs up and smiling, captioned: “The Adelson’s with their choice for President.”
Sheldon is one of few American Jewish figures in the Israel advocacy space who has endorsed Trump on the grounds that he will stand reliably behind the Jewish state. The Republican Jewish Coalition, which has also received substantial support from Adelson in the past, congratulated Trump for his success in the primaries in May. But it has not mentioned his name in a press release or on Twitter ever since. Michel Wilner contributed to this article.