Ken Griffin Says He’ll Decide Soon About Supporting Nikki Haley

(Bloomberg) -- Citadel founder Ken Griffin says he is close to making a decision about financially backing Nikki Haley’s presidential bid, a move that would give her campaign a boost two months out from the Iowa caucuses.

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“We’re at the finish line on that choice,” Griffin said in an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg News at the Citadel Securities Global Macro Conference in Miami. “That’s a decision we’re actively contemplating.”

The potential nod from Griffin coincides with Haley’s rise in the polls following three strong debate performances. The latest NBC News/Des Moines Register poll has her tied for second place in Iowa.

She’s also risen to second in two other early-voting states: New Hampshire and her home state of South Carolina, according to the RealClear Politics polling average, which still lists her as placing third nationally, behind former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Griffin, who has praised Haley in recent weeks, said he would like to see Trump debate Haley, a former United Nations ambassador. The fourth Republican presidential debate is scheduled for Dec. 6, but it’s unlikely that Trump, who skipped the first three, will attend.

“I think the American public needs to see can Donald Trump hold his own with Nikki Haley,” Griffin said.

Griffin has previously said he’s “really paying attention” to the former South Carolina governor. He called her a “rock star” last month and said she has the experience to be president.

Griffin, 55, is one of the largest political donors in the country. He contributed almost $72.7 million during the 2022 midterm election cycle, and Republican operatives and campaigns have been watching him closely to try to discern to whether he’ll back any 2024 presidential contenders.

The Citadel founder last year signaled he would not support Trump, calling the former president a “three-time loser.” He’s also expressed disappointment with some of DeSantis’s policy positions, which he said resulted in the “diminution of personal rights.”

“You can’t run the largest economy in the world as a name-calling bully,” Griffin said Tuesday about Trump.

Read more: Griffin Praises Haley Again as He Assesses Republican Contenders

Griffin’s net worth is an estimated $35.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His firms generated $35.5 billion in revenue last year.

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