If there is a single fat-cat Republican donor who must be shunned by any serious 2016 presidential candidate, this is the guy. Pat Buchanan pries open a festering stew pot that should give every American cause for concern.
For four days ending Sunday, a quartet of presidential hopefuls trooped to Las Vegas to attend the annual gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Impresario: Sheldon Adelson, the Vegas-Macau casino mogul whose fortune is estimated at $39 billion — 8th richest man on the planet — and who dumped $92 million into the election of 2012.
The 2016 presidential hopefuls “are falling at his feet,” said a veteran Republican strategist of the 80-year-old oligarch. Each of those who came — Bush, Chris Christie, and Govs. Scott Walker and John Kasich — apparently auditioned, one by one, before the godfather.
Victor Chaltiel, a major donor and Adelson friend who sits on the board of Las Vegas Sands, tells us Sheldon “doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee.” Adds Shawn Steel, a big California GOP money man, Sheldon is a “very rational guy.”
Perhaps. But last fall at Yeshiva University, this “very rational guy” gave this response to a question from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on whether he supports U.S. negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program:
“No. What do you mean support negotiations? What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …
You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’
“So, there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.
“And then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.
“‘You want to be peaceful. Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.’”
Adelson’s response was recorded by Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss website who was at Yeshiva and filmed the interview. Weiss says the audience cheered Adelson’s proposed nuclear strike on Iran and no one on the stage, not Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, peeped a word of dissent.
And this is a “very rational guy,” who doesn’t want “a crazy extremist to be the nominee”?