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Marco Rubio Is Free For Dinner, Wall Street

Swipe right, you lusty Wall Streeters, swipe right on Marco.

As we've said before, it's pretty hard for Wall Street to like any of the Republican candidates for the White House so far.

What with Ted Cruz's painting his wife's employer, Goldman Sachs, as a crony in the game of crony capitalism, and Rand Paul being straight up ready to punch "New York City Town" bankers right in the face, the Republican field has looked pretty bleak for the finance crowd.

But that changes today, with Marco Rubio getting into the game.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida told his top donors Monday that he was running for president in 2016, becoming the third Republican to officially enter the contest.

Unlike his current cadre of opponents, Rubio has been anything but hostile towards The Street. A Politico story from February 2013 details Rubio's bold flirtation with some of the financial sector's biggest names.

In recent weeks, the rising GOP star and possible 2016 hopeful has quietly met with some of the most powerful GOP backers in the world of high finance. The roster includes Blackstone Group Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. CEO Henry Kravis and senior executives at Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, among others.
Rubio has gotten backing from big Wall Street titans before, notably hedge fund manager and billionaire Paul Singer. But the fresh round of private meetings with top names has Wall Street buzzing about Rubio’s future plans.
“It was a first date. And he’s doing a lot of them,” said a person familiar with Rubio’s meeting with Schwarzman, who heads one of the biggest private equity firms on Wall Street.

A look through Rubio's campaign funding shows that all that casual dating paid off in a big way. Amongst the senator's biggest donors over the course of his career are Elliott Management, Goldman, Sun Capital, Morgan Stanley and BofA.

But now that he's the only avowed pro-Wall Streeter in the race and in need of national campaign funding, it might be time for Rubio to go on some second dates, and maybe even put out. After all, like Bloomberg points out,he very well might not even be the only Floridian latino in the Republican primary.

Other problems facing Rubio: Without help from a key billionaire or two, financial support for his campaign remains questionable. And while he hails from Florida, a key state in presidential politics, he'll get little help from other Republican officials as long as he’s overshadowed by his neighbor and friend, former Governor Jeb Bush.

This could be Rubio's window to get that Wall Street cheddar before Tio Jeb makes it official and starts availing himself the Bush family rolodex.

So, pick up the phone and dial up Marco Rubio's HQ, Wall Street... he's waiting for your call.


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