Friday June 26,2015 : SENATOR DENIES ADELSON INFLUENCE ON RAWA (Update)
“People buy into my agenda. I don’t buy into theirs,” says Rubio.
Presidential hopeful Sen. Mark Rubio found himself defending his support for Sheldon Adelson's Restoration of America's Wire Act shortly after it was re-introduced in the Senate this week
At a town hall meet in New Hampshire reporters pressed the candidate on his support for a bill widely believed to have been drafted on the orders of land casino mogul and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, but he denied that his support was associated with a bid to win Adelson’s endorsement.
The Washington Post reports that the Florida senator has "…assiduously courted the billionaire casino mogul, who spent approximately $100 million on the 2012 campaign and could spend as much or more in 2016."
Responding to the questions, Rubio commented:
“People buy into my agenda. I don’t buy into theirs. When I run for office, I tell people where I stand … My stands are not influenced by my contributors; I hope my stands influence my contributors.”
Rubio went on to claim “a long history of opposing the expansion of gambling,” dating back to his tenure as Speaker of the Florida state House.
The Post points out that whilst Rubio has been highly critical of Las Vegas gambling in the past, he was far more measured this week in his criticism.
“Vegas is Las Vegas,” he told reporters. “They have a right in Las Vegas to have any gambling they want. They have laws. They have legislators. They can vote on what they want or don’t want. In Florida, I have a long history of opposing expansion of gambling.
"When you talk about online gambling, that comes into Florida. That is potentially people, including young people, who are going to go online and gamble and lose money. I just don’t believe that’s the right approach for our country.”
The Republican Senatorial Committee was the beneficiary of a $233,800 campaign contribution from Adelson and his wife in May this year.
The principal sponsor of the Senate version of RAWA, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (who is also a 2016 Republican presidential candidate) cannot boast a long-standing opposition such as Rubio's – there is little if any available evidence that he was interested in opposing online gambling until the appearance of Adelson's opposition in the shape of RAWA.