Today the editorial board of Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed Florida Senator and third-place Iowa caucuses loser Marco Rubio for Nevada’s upcoming Republican caucuses. The board writes:
Our reasons for endorsing Sen. Rubio are many. Notably, the Florida senator has deep personal connections to the state. He lived in the Las Vegas Valley from age 8 to age 14, the son of immigrants employed by the hotel industry. The driving force behind the 44-year-old’s compelling story is his family’s pursuit of better opportunities and a better life. The policies he champions on his campaign are intended to provide all Americans as much.
The paper enumerates the reasons underlying their endorsement, including Rubio’s stance on immigration, federalism, social welfare programs, as well as his “electability.” They also mention one factor that did not influence their decision: Their new activist owner, the Republican billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
It’s widely known that Rubio, like many of his GOP competitors, has actively courted the money and attention of Adelson, who is singularly focused on American foreign policy as it relates to the State of Israel. But the Review-Journal insists that Adelson’s political ideology, which happens to closely match Rubio’s political ideology, did not directly or indirectly affect their endorsement:
The RJ met with Sen. Rubio on Oct. 9, two months before the announcement of the newspaper’s sale to the family of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. The Adelsons have detached themselves from our endorsement process, and our endorsement of Sen. Rubio does not represent the support of the family.
Ah, well then. Considering everything else that’s happening at the Review-Journal, this seems like a welcome development (at least in terms of editorial independence—Marco Rubio is, after all, still Marco Rubio). Still, it’s hard to imagine Adelson “detaching” himself from his own paper’s political influence for much longer.