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August 4, 2015

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Sheldon Adelson distancing himself from documentary attacking Mitt Romney

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Wong Maye-E / AP

Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who donated $5 million to supporters of Newt Gingrich, is not necessarily endorsing the message in an anti-Mitt Romney video.

Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s $5-million donation to supporters of Newt Gingrich may have helped fund distribution of a brutal anti-Mitt Romney video, but he’s not necessarily endorsing its message.

The 28-minute video produced by a group supporting Gingrich portrays the former Massachusetts governor as a corporate marauder who destroyed small businesses and individuals' livelihoods in pursuit of profit as head of Bain Capital.

The video has been criticized by some in Republican circles as taking a page from Democrats' playbook of “attacking capitalism” and playing the rich off of the poor.

But Adelson, a self-made billionaire, hasn’t seen the video and has had no say in the group’s strategy for airing it, according to a source close to the Las Vegas Sands chairman.

“The key to remember here is that he gave a donation to support Newt,” the source said. “What happens from the time when that contribution lands with that PAC to now, he’s not involved with. He’s not been involved in the strategies and the tactics.”

The video is being distributed by Winning Our Future, a so-called super political action committee supporting Gingrich’s campaign. The super PAC is planning to purchase $3.4 million in television time in South Carolina and air portions of the documentary in the run-up to the Jan. 21 GOP primary there.

The source close to Adelson said the $5 million contribution was meant to help a friend who needed it. After poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich has placed his hopes of extending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on South Carolina.

“I don’t think anybody with an ounce of credibility would say Mr. Adelson is anti-capitalism or anti-business or even anti-Romney,” the source said. “Mr. Adelson is pro-Newt.”

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