The new No. 1 recipient of lobbyist contributions from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employees in the Republican presidential field, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is fast becoming the overall big-money choice in the race, conservative economist Stephen Moore said Thursday.
“The big transition that’s happening now in this race, which could be a game changer, is that all of the big money donors — not all of them, but the vast majority of them — that gave $100 million to Jeb Bush are now turning to Marco Rubio,” said Moore during an appearance on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
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“Rubio is quickly becoming the Establishment candidate. He’s considered the safe pick. We’ve done that a lot, haven’t we, as Republicans?”
Bloomberg reported this week that Goldman Sachs employees gave $107,000 to Rubio’s campaign in the last three months of 2015. Bush, his leadership political action committee and the super PAC supporting his presidential campaign, have raised $773,000 from the investment bank’s employees. But the former Florida governor took in only $2,950 in the final quarter of 2015.
Rubio, said Moore, is the obvious beneficiary of Bush’s sagging fortunes.
“You’re gonna to see a flood of money,” he said. “You’re starting to see it already. The Bush money is turning to Rubio … All of the kind of Wall Street money is also going.”
Of course, money isn’t everything in politics. Veteran political strategist Dick Morris said on a separate appearance on the program that Rubio cannot win the nomination because he picked the wrong side of this campaign’s seminal issue — immigration.
“This Republican electorate will not nominate somebody who sponsored the Gang of Eight bill,” Morris said. “They simply will not do it. No matter how you can obfuscate it or cloud it up … The fact of the amnesty bill just sticks in the craw. It’s very rare that you get a silver bullet these days that really decides the election.”
Moore said Rubio and other candidates should make clear that whatever money they raise for their campaigns will not buy special treatment from the government.
“I want these Republican candidates, every one of them — Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, (Sen. Ted) Cruz, all of them — to basically make a pledge that they will never, never, never, never, never, ever again bail out a private company,” he said. “Bailouts should be stricken from the Republican vocabulary.”
And Moore noted that the biggest recipient of lobbyists, “by a mile,” is Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“Most people don’t know that,” he said.