5/14/15, "Why Ted Cruz is wowing some of Wall Street's money-men," Reuters, Emily Flitter
candidate Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite and leading figure in the 2013
government shutdown that rattled investors, isn’t the kind of politician
who usually wins a lot of friends among Wall Street campaign donors.
freshman Republican senator from Texas has none of the moderate
tendencies that financiers often prefer in presidential candidates. Cruz
relishes his image as an anti-establishment figure and boasts of his
aversion to compromise. He has vowed to abolish the Internal Revenue
Service and repeal President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare plan,
commonly known as Obamacare.
the uncompromising rhetoric, Cruz is winning praise from some potential
Wall Street donors, including bankers and hedge fund managers, who told
Reuters there is more to him than the conservative firebrand of the
campaign trail. He has been courting financiers in their homes in New
York and Greenwich, Connecticut, they said.
the praise does not appear to be translating into cash donations - at
least so far. Some potential donors on Wall Street said they had doubts
about whether Cruz can win the 2016 election, when he would likely face
off against Hillary Clinton.
A spokesman for Cruz said his campaign was happy with its initial
fundraising effort and believed that the senator appealed to a wide
range of people.
who have met with Cruz said he demonstrated a firm grasp of specific
policy issues and was able to discuss them at length and offer specific
ideas of his own, without dodging tough questions or resorting to
is one reason why he is seen as a stronger candidate than some other
favorites of the small government Tea Party movement such as Michele
Bachmann, who ran a failed bid for president in 2012.
probably the smartest person running," said Thomas Peterffy, the
billionaire founder of Interactive Brokers. "Even though personally I do
not believe that abortion is something that should be prohibited and I
do not believe we should not care about the environment, nevertheless I
think Ted has the qualities - he definitely has a shot."
has said state governments should be able to set their own limits on
abortions and that he does not see evidence that global warming is
CRUZ SURPRISES POTENTIAL DONORS
who spent $8 million on TV ads in 2012 urging Americans to vote Obama
out of office or face creeping socialism, said he had not yet made up
his mind about which Republican to support in the 2016 race. He said his
decision is going to be based on whom he deems electable. But he added
that he expected either Ted Cruz or Florida Senator Marco Rubio to
become president "within the next 20 years."
Boston-based lawyer who advises clients, "mostly multi-millionaires and
just one billionaire," on political donations, said each one of his
clients had met with Cruz and half of them had come away praising the
senator as smart and compelling in a one-on-one setting.
on Cruz's reputation as a right-wing flame-thrower, the lawyer, who did
not want to be identified by name, said he had not expected any of his
clients to like the candidate. "I'm surprised about the half that came
away impressed," he said.
his clients are not alone. Others who have met Cruz in private settings
say he comes across as a brainy politician whose most hardline
statements seem like popularity-seeking varnish that will eventually be
"When I saw
him he was completely sober – he was having serious policy
discussions," said one hedge fund CFO, who declined to be named. He said
he was not normally inclined to get involved in politics and had to be
dragged to a house party in Greenwich at which Cruz had appeared
alongside John Boehner, the top Republican in the U.S. House of
"He's a real person. He's smart, he knows issues – that's just not true of a lot of politicians," the CFO said.
TRANSLATING PRAISE INTO CASH
not yet clear though whether Cruz can translate the receptiveness of a
powerful community outside of his base of conservative activists into
more financial support.
Mercer, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Renaissance
Technologies, last month contributed a large portion of the $31 million
donated in one week to a consortium of pro-Cruz political action
committees called Keep the Promise.
other mega-donors who have met with Cruz and said they liked him,
including the billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, have held off
donating to him over concerns about his electability. Strong showings in
the early primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina will
be key to winning more donors, strategists say.
Hampshire strategist Dave Carney pointed to Cruz's strength in a series
of straw polls in South Carolina - in April he won in four important
counties - as evidence that his campaign has legs. To win in New
Hampshire Cruz needs to focus on meeting voters in person and will have
to win over moderate and independent voters in addition to conservative
abilities as a retail politician to listen and be sincere and
authentic," Carney said, adding that while Cruz "may use different
language," his message has to remain consistent to be taken seriously.
establishment credentials that set him apart from other populist
Republicans such as Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucus in 2008 but
lost the party presidential nomination to Senator John McCain, and
Bachmann, who won a straw poll vote in the early voting state of Iowa in
2011 only to see her presidential campaign later lose momentum.
a former official in President George W. Bush's administration, holds
degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. His wife, who
worked in the Bush White House, has taken unpaid leave from Goldman
Sachs in Houston, where she is a managing director overseeing a wealth
investors said his braininess and establishment credentials won't be
enough for Cruz unless he pulls back from some of his more hardline
"Ted Cruz has
been to my house with his wife," said Andy Sabin, a metals trader and
refinery owner in Easthampton, New York who gives not only to political
causes but to environmental conservation efforts as well.
"I said, 'some time in the next four or five cycles you will be president but you’ve got to come to the center.'"
is leaning toward supporting former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has
positioned himself as a moderate able to appeal to a cross section of
Boone Pickens, the Texan hedge fund tycoon, called Cruz "a serious guy"
in an interview with Reuters. But he too, was throwing his support
behind Bush, he said on the sidelines of the Skybridge Alternatives
Conference, known as SALT, in Texas.
Scaramucci, who organized the hedge fund conference and is founder of
the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital, said he didn't think Cruz had quite
broken through to Wall Street.
is super smart and touches a nerve in the heartland where people are
unhappy with the way things are going," Scaramucci said. "But it will be
very difficult for him to garner establishment money.""
"(Reporting By Emily Flitter in New York; Additional reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Las Vegas, editing by Ross Colvin)"
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Ted Cruz earning praise from Wall Street money men after one on one meetings with the 2016 presidential candidate. "He's a real person. He's smart, he knows issues-that's just not true of a lot of politicians," said a CFO from Greenwich, Ct.-Reuters
Posted by susan at 5:36 AM