Notifications

Marco Rubio donors spent $25M in Florida primary loss to Trump

Wealthy donors handed over $25 million last month to an outside group backing then Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, which helped pay for thousands of television advertisements during the Florida primary he eventually lost to Donald Trump.

Money helped pay for thousands of television ads in Rubio's home state

Conservative Solutions PAC raised about $58 million in support of Marco Rubio since he became a Republican presidential hopeful last spring. Many of the donations came from donors whose favourite candidates had previously failed. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

Wealthy donors handed over $25 million US last month to an outside group backing then Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, and the flood of money helped pay for thousands of television advertisements.

Rubio-aligned Conservative Solutions PAC aired more than 2,300 commercials since Super Tuesday on March 1, according to Kantar Media's campaign analysis group. The political action committee was expected to shell out $9.6 million US on radio and TV by March 15.

It still wasn't enough.

Rubio, a Florida senator, ended his bid after an embarrassing loss to Donald Trump last week in his home state.

The presidential candidates — current and former — must file their February campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday, as they look ahead to the next series of nominating contests in Arizona, Idaho and Utah on Tuesday.

Going broke for Rubio

Conservative Solutions raised about $58 million in support of Rubio since he became a candidate last spring. More than 40 per cent of that money arrived in February alone, new fundraising reports show.

Many of the donations came from donors whose favourite candidates had previously failed. In fact, the pro-Rubio surge was concentrated in the days after one-time rival Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, dropped out Feb. 20.

A make-or-break evening for some presidential candidates as both Republican and Democratic voters headed to the polls in five different primaries 2:30

Poultry magnate Ronald Cameron was Conservative Solution's top donor in February, contributing $5 million. Cameron, the chief executive officer of Little Rock, Ark.,-based agricultural company Mountaire, had previously given $3 million to a group backing former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, also once a 2016 presidential hopeful.

The insurance executive Hank Greenberg's C. V. Starr & Company, Inc. and Starr International companies gave a total of $5 million to Conservative Solutions. Last year, C.V. Starr gave $10 million to a group backing Bush, the former Florida governor.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this articles said Marco Rubio received $25 million from donors. In fact, the money was given to Rubio-aligned Conservative Solutions PAC, not the then candidate himself.
    Mar 21, 2016 6:41 PM ET

With files from the CBC's Matt Kwong

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.