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Cruz to speak to Adelson-backed Jewish group in Las Vegas

Jewish megadonor has offered lukewarm support for frontrunner Trump; Sen. Lindsey Graham slams Trump policy on Israel

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to a crowd at a campaign stop at Altoona Family Restaurant in Altoona, Wisconsin, Monday, March 28, 2016. (Dan Reiland/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP)
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to a crowd at a campaign stop at Altoona Family Restaurant in Altoona, Wisconsin, Monday, March 28, 2016. (Dan Reiland/The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram via AP)

Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is heading to Las Vegas next week for a conference at billionaire and conservative mega-donor Sheldon Adelson’s casino complex.

The conference is being organized by the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is largely funded by Adelson. The RJC has also invited Donald Trump and John Kasich, the other two GOP presidential candidates, and is awaiting their replies.

Cruz joins former president George W. Bush and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney in speaking at RJC’s spring conference, which takes place at Adelson’s Venetian Resort and Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.

Adelson and his family spent more than $90 million in the 2012 race, but have not made large contributions so far this time.

Speaking recently at an event in honor of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Adelson expressed mild support for Trump if he secures the nomination.

“Trump is a businessman. I am a businessman. He employs a lot of people. I employed 50,000 people. Why not?” Adelson pondered.

Trump has done less well in garnering the support of Republican leaders.

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday said the frontrunner’s foreign policy is “gibberish” and “ill-conceived” and as president he would be “worse than Obama.”

The South Carolina Republican is leading a congressional delegation to Israel.

Graham, who dropped his own bid for the White House last year, told The Associated Press Tuesday that Trump does not understand the stakes of the Middle East. He took particular aim at Trump’s assertion that he would take a more neutral stand regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Graham says “this is not a real estate deal. This is the survival of the one and only Jewish state.”

Graham says he is concerned a Hillary Clinton presidency would amount to a third term for Barack Obama, but she was at least a “known quantity.”

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