Erstwhile presidential candidate Newt Gingrich officially suspended his campaign today after announcing he would do so last week, and among the handful of people he thanked by name were Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. The couple were by far the largest donors to the super PAC supporting Gingrich’s presidential bid, and their $25 million donations nearly single-handedly kept the Gingrich campaign alive in its last days.
GINGRICH: And of course, while they weren’t directly associated with the campaign, it would be impossible for me to be here and thank everybody without mentioning Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who single-handedly came pretty close to matching Romney’s super PAC.
Gingrich’s praise of the Adelsons, and admission of their importance in his campaign, underscores how super PACs have fundamentally changed the political landscape, allowing a single household to spend unlimited amounts of money to nearly “single-handedly” fund candidates.
But his comments may also raise some eyebrows, as super PACs are legally not allowed to coordinate with campaigns and should exist entirely independently of the campaign. Gingrich notes the casino mogul and his wife “weren’t directly associated with the campaign,” but his public gratitude underscore the porous rules governing campaign finance in the post-Citizens United era.
Gingrich did not endorse Romney during his speech, but is expected to sometime in the near future, as the presumed GOP nominee has vowed to help Gingrich retire his campaign debt.