An ominous sign for the Jeb Bush campaign: Paul Singer, one of the Republican Party's key donors, has decided to support Marco Rubio instead. Singer—who was the GOP's biggest donor last year and raised $3 million for Mitt Romney in 2012—praised Rubio in a message to dozens of fellow donors, the New York Times reports. "He is accustomed to thinking about American foreign policy as a responsible policy maker," the hedge fund manager wrote. "He is ready to be an informed and assertive decision-maker." Rubio is the "best explainer of conservatism in public life today" and can "appeal to both the head and the heart," wrote Singer, describing the senator as the only candidate who can "navigate this complex primary process" and go on to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Bush, whose campaign warned donors last week that Rubio is a "risky bet," tried hard to win Singer's support, as did Chris Christie. Sources tell the Times that there was no single moment when the billionaire decided on Rubio, although Bush's dismal debate performance didn't help his cause. At a campaign event in Iowa on Friday, Rubio said he welcomed Singer's support, though he added that "resources alone are not enough" and "you have to have the right ideas and the right principles and convince people that you’re the right person for the job," the Guardian reports. He declined to address Bush's attacks on him, saying he doesn't think "it is a smart thing for Republicans to do Hillary Clinton’s job for her." (Singer has tried to make the GOP more gay-friendly.)