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Courting Adelson and Netanyahu and reviving "new American century," Rubio positions himself as neocon favorite

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Reprinted from Mondoweiss

From flickr.com/photos/37996583933@N01/20746954819/: Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio
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Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has emerged as the last best hope of the neoconservative restoration. In recent days, Rubio has been courting Sheldon Adelson, who wants to nuke Iran, while Rubio's outside spending group, which tried to kill the Iran deal by promoting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, has undertaken a big ad buy in Iowa. Rubio appears to be favored by neocon kingmaker Bill Kristol, who has defended the Florida senator from attacks, elevated him as "shrewd" -- and meantime has trolled Jeb Bush (who made the mistake of naming James Baker as a foreign policy adviser).

AP asks, Can Rubio keep up with Jeb Bush? and says that Rubio dined last week with Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas:

"Rubio shared a private dinner Thursday night in Las Vegas with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who with his wife donated more than $90 million during the last presidential contest. Rubio, like other Republicans, has aggressively sought Adelson's endorsement."

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Adelson cares about one issue -- supporting Israel through thick and thin.

Rubio's big outside spending groups also have a pro-Israel connection; and they've raised over $16 million, and are spending a hunk of that money in Iowa. Las Vegas Review Journal:

"Two outside spending groups, Conservative Solutions PAC and Conservative Solutions Project, have purchased a combined $2.1 million to air nearly 1,600 pro-Rubio spots on Iowa TV stations in advance of that state's caucuses, The Des Moines Register reported on its website Saturday night."

The Conservative Solutions Project is a nonprofit that had raised $16 million in undisclosed donations as of last July, per the Times and Politico. The Times also reported that Conservative Solutions PAC and Conservative Solutions Project have raised a total of $39 million this election cycle, an indication that Rubio could take on Jeb Bush. The groups do not have to reveal the names of donors; but one of those donors is surely Rubio's godfather Norman Braman, who is devoted to Israel's security and who told the Washington Post last spring:

"If there is a super PAC that's founded, I will give substantially," Braman said in an interview, declining to be more specific.

T he National Journal calls the Conservative Solutions Project a "secret-money group."

"The only known donor to Conservative Solutions Project is a political group: Super PAC for America, an organization once led by Michael Reagan and Dick Morris that raised and spent millions of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 elections but spent down its remaining money last year. The super PAC's campaign finance reports include a $10,000 donation to Conservative Solutions Project in June 2014."

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Dick Morris is a giant supporter of Israel who has urged Jewish Democrats to leave the party over the issue and worked against the Iran deal.

Conservative Solutions Project did say it would spend $1 million on ads against the Iran deal last summer, the Washington Post reported. One ad featured Rubio and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

"The ad also shows footage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking. Netanyahu has clashed sharply with Obama over Iran, aligning himself with congressional Republicans.

"The narrator of the ad concludes: 'Tell your senators to join Marco Rubio. Vote against Obama's deal and stop Iran from getting the bomb.'"

Also note that Rubio's campaign titles itself "A New American Century." The moniker echoes the most disastrous project of the last generation in American politics, the Project for a New American Century, led by neoconservatives Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, which counseled George Bush in 2002 that we should invade Iraq because Israel's war is our war.

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http://mondoweiss.net/
Philip Weiss is a longtime writer and journalist in New York. He co-edits a website on Israel/Palestine, Mondoweiss.net, which he founded in order to foster the movement for greater fairness and justice for Palestinians in American foreign policy. He is currently working on a novel about the US in Australia during WW2.


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