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Adelson’s New Goal: Take Down Santorum

Considering the attacks Sheldon Adelson funded against Mitt Romney – a candidate he reportedly likes – just imagine how he treats candidates he disagrees with:

In a bit of political chess, Mr. Adelson is ready to not only directly support the former House speaker in the Republican primary, but to use his cash to push Rick Santorum from his position atop the latest national polls, according to people who have discussed the matter with Mr. Adelson.

If Mr. Gingrich could afford to continue campaigning, one of those people said, he might be able to draw off conservative and evangelical voters from Mr. Santorum, improving the chances of Mitt Romney, who Mr. Adelson believes has a better chance to win November’s general election. …

Mr. Adelson doesn’t oppose Mr. Santorum, but he doesn’t share the former Pennsylvania senator’s socially conservative positions, including his strong anti-abortion views, associates said. Mr. Santorum was one of only two Republicans who didn’t meet with Mr. Adelson in October around the time of a candidates’ debate in Las Vegas, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Adelson reportedly hasn’t shifted allegiances to Romney, but it’s basically implied if he pursues this strategy. The last thing Romney needs at this point is for Gingrich to drop out of the race. And from Romney’s perspective, Adelson’s cash could be put to much better use by funding Gingrich ads against Santorum. After all, Romney doesn’t really need the money at this point, and Newt has more credibility on the right to pull off harsh attacks on Santorum’s social positions.

This also shows that any hopes Republicans had of capturing a greater percentage of the Jewish vote may go out the window if Santorum’s the candidate. Moderate Jews who might consider voting Republican based on Israel will probably find it hard to support a candidate with far-right views on abortion, gay marriage and contraception.



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