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Gingrich ‘at the end of his line,’ major donor says

By Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau –

WASHINGTON — Casino titan Sheldon Adelson, who has almost single-handedly bankrolled a “super PAC” backing Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, now believes Gingrich is “at the end of his line.”

Speaking to a group outside his Las Vegas hotel and casino, The Venetian, Adelson earlier this week criticized GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, but acknowledged that his preferred candidate has little hope of becoming the nominee.

“It appears as though he’s at the end of his — at the end of his line,” Adelson said in comments Monday that were reported by “’Cause, I mean, mathematically, he can’t get anywhere near the numbers, and there’s not — unlikely there’ll be a brokered convention.”

Adelson, along with his wife and children, has donated $16.5 million to Winning Our Future, a super PAC that was instrumental in paying for advertising to boost Gingrich’s cash-strapped campaign. Since its creation, the super PAC has raised a total of $18.8 million, according to campaign finance reports through the end of February.

Adelson was speaking informally while attending the Jewish Federations of North America’s TribeFest, which was hosted at The Venetian.

He criticized Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, for being too focused on social issues. Adelson described himself as a “social liberal” who is pro-choice on abortion.

“I know Rick; I like him,” Adelson said. “We’re friendly. But I got to tell you something: I don’t want him to run my country.”

Turning to Romney, Adelson sounded frustrated by the former Massachusetts governor’s unwillingness to commit to his causes.

“He’s not the bold decision-maker like Newt Gingrich is,” Adelson said. “He doesn’t want to — every time I talk to him, he says, ‘Well, let me think about it.’ ”

Adelson said he had talked to both Romney and Gingrich about agreeing to choose the other as a vice presidential nominee. Gingrich, he said, rebuffed the idea because it would make it harder to gain much-needed support from governors in other states.

“Newt says, ‘Listen, I would do that except that every governor whose help you need to go through the election is hoping he’ll be the vice president pick. So if I go into the contest with a vice president already picked, they’re not going to help me.’ ”

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