Griffin Praises Haley Again as He Assesses Republican Contenders

(Bloomberg) -- Citadel founder Ken Griffin said he’s “really paying attention to” Nikki Haley as a candidate he might support in the Republican presidential primary.

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“Nikki Haley has the foreign policy experience we need right now,” Griffin said Friday in an interview with David Rubenstein at the George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Last week, he called the former US Ambassador to the United Nations a “rock star” on the campaign trail and said she has the experience to be in the Oval Office.

Although Griffin said previously he won’t support former President Donald Trump, he hasn’t yet donated to an alternative. He has expressed disappointment in Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s policies that have limited personal rights.

Haley has risen in the polls in recent months, putting her in second place in some early voting states behind Trump, who appointed her to the UN post.

Griffin said he’s looking for next week’s GOP presidential primary debate to provide a venue for the candidates to demonstrate how they differ on policy from their competitors. The Nov. 8 debate will be the third this fall.

“I’m watching and really trying to understand where the key candidates in the Republican primary are going to land on issues that are important to me,” Griffin said, citing national security, education, the economy and inflation.

Griffin gave almost $72.7 million in donations during the 2022 midterm election cycle and is one of the largest political donors in the country. Republican presidential campaigns and other prominent party members are closely watching whether he will back one of the eight GOP candidates vying for the 2024 nomination.

Griffin, 55, has a net worth of $36 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His market-making business, Citadel Securities, is a key part of the plumbing underlying US markets for stocks, bonds and other securities through its ability to execute trades, while acting as a counterparty and liquidity provider. Griffin’s firms generated $35.5 billion in revenue last year.

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