Marco Rubio's thirsty courting of financial sector donations is finally bearing fruit...
Ken Griffin, the billionaire hedge-fund manager who has become a major Republican Party donor in recent years, is throwing his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president.
"I'm really excited to be supporting Marco Rubio," Griffin, who is the founder and chief executive of the Chicago firm Citadel, said in an exclusive interview with CNBC. "He will be the next president of the United States."
Ken Griffin is ready to throw some of his billions at the Rubio campaign, which is good news considering that the candidate has been rumored to be something of a free spender and it finally appears that he is ready to make himself the legitimate front-runner in a primary that has gone from loud and wacky to even louder and borderline scary.
And Rubio can now join money streams from hedge fund billionaires as he has already wrapped up the backing of Paul Singer. But Rubio might want to be careful about bringing that up because Ken Griffin is his own man!
Griffin told CNBC on Thursday that while he admired Singer's track record as a money manager, he had decided to back Rubio "independently."
And if you're a politician looking for someone who likes to write checks, you can't ask for someone better than Kenny G. After all, this is a guy who just paid for a divorce and bought more than $300 million worth of real estate in the last year alone.
He also likes to ensure that his chosen political candidates get the jobs they want.
Griffin, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $7 billion, is thought to be the richest person in Illinois, so depending on the level of financial support he provides, he could be crucial to a Rubio candidacy. In 2014, for instance, Griffin helped secure a gubernatorial victory for private-equity executive Bruce Rauner in Illinois by contributing $5.5 million and reportedly offering the use of his private plane.
But Marco should pay close attention in case Ken starts using his "divorce voice," a tone that will be distinctly different from the gleeful giggling emanating from Hillary Clinton when Anne Dias (née Griffin) inevitably shows up at her campaign HQ to vengefully shower her with cash.