Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Republican whose super PAC spending upended the 2012 GOP presidential primary, has a list of early contenders in 2016--and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky isn't on it.
Although he said "it's far too early" to speculate about the next presidential field, Adelson rattled off the names of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 vice presidential nominee; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as presumed candidates.
"I didn't even know Ted Cruz was potentially a candidate until somebody pointed it out to me the other day," Adelson said of the freshman senator from Texas.
Adelson's early 2016 assessment came in an extensive interview with earlier this week in which he also said he is considering an expanded involvement in Senate Republican primaries after watching flawed GOP nominees fritter away winnable seats in the last two cycles.
"We are going to be involved in more primary races than we were before," he said.