Marc Short, the Koch brothers’ top political adviser in Washington and a trusted member of their inner circle for five years, is making a surprise move to the Marco Rubio campaign as a senior adviser as the Republican establishment ramps up efforts to stop Donald Trump.
Short — president of Freedom Partners, the Kochs’ umbrella political organization — will join the campaign in about a week and brings deep connections to the donor and grass-roots worlds.
The Koch brothers are still neutral — their network likes both Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz, and the Kochs are said to be waiting until it’s down to Trump and one of those two. But this move should help Rubio to tap into some of that network’s billions. It’s the latest sign of the establishment rallying around Rubio, although it might be too late to stop Trump.
UPDATE: Just in this afternoon, more from Politico on the plutocrats ganging together for Rubio:
Marco Rubio has won the backing of Kentucky billionaire Joe Craft, one of the nation’s most prolific Republican donors.
Craft and his fiancé, Kelly Knight, are adding their names to the growing list of prominent donors who are giving their support to Rubio. Knight confirmed the decision in a text message on Tuesday afternoon.
Craft, a Kentucky billionaire, was one of the biggest Republican donors during the 2012 campaign. He gave over $3 million to American Crossroads, a Karl Rove-founded group, and $1 million to Restore Our Future, a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC.
Over the years, Craft and Knight have given millions to Republican congressional candidates. The two are close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who following Rand Paul’s exit is neutral in the GOP primary.