New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s most vocal billionaire supporter is not going to put his money where is mouth is in 2016.
Ken Langone, the billionaire Home Depot founder who tried to draft Christie into the 2012 race, said he will not write a $10 million check to Christie’s super PAC. Christie officially entered the 2016 contest on Tuesday.
“Whoo-oo-oa, whoooa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” Langone reportedly interrupted when National Journal asked if he would write an eight-figure check to support Christie like other billionaires have been willing to do for their preferred candidates.
“Would I write a check for $10 million? No, no I wouldn’t. But I do something better than that,” Langone, who is reportedly worth an estimated $2.7 billion, said. “I go out and get a lot people to write checks, and get them to get people to write checks, and hopefully result in a helluva lot more than $10 million.”
Other candidates have billionaires who are willing to write $10 million checks to their super PACs. Billionaire auto dealer Norman Braman, for instance, reportedly is expected to contribute as much as $10 million to Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) super PAC. In 2012, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson donated $15 million to Newt Gingrich’s super PAC, which helped Gingrich stay in the race and divide the anti-Mitt Romney vote with former Sen. Rick Santorum.
Described as one of Christie’s “most visible backers,” Langone also revealed in the interview how much disdain the GOP’s elite donors have for voters who may be more conservative in places like Iowa.
“The hell with Iowa,” Langone told National Journal. “Look, you got to look at Iowa and that’s those old ladies with knitting needles sitting around living rooms–I don’t understand it.”
Christie will reportedly go all-in to win New Hampshire and revive his candidacy, and Langone said he believed “the key election is New Hampshire,” where voters are more moderate than those in Iowa and South Carolina.