Marco Rubio courting wealthy Wall Street donors ahead of 2016

In recent weeks, the rising GOP star and possible 2016 hopeful has quietly met with some of the most powerful GOP backers in the world of high finance. The roster includes Blackstone Group Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. CEO Henry Kravis and senior executives at Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, among others…

“It was a first date. And he’s doing lot of them,” said a person familiar with Rubio’s meeting with Schwarzman, who heads one of the biggest private equity firms on Wall Street. The person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private, said Schwarzman was “favorably impressed” with Rubio but remains uncommitted for 2016. “Rubio has a very strong sense of himself and positioned himself very early on immigration reform, which Republicans desperately need,” this person said.

Rubio’s early trips to Manhattan are only logical, campaign finance experts say. And they are likely to continue over the next three years.

“I cannot see any downside to Rubio moving this early. I can only see the pitfalls of not moving fast enough and having people moving ahead of you,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics. “And this is the first big stop on the fundraising trail. Support in the financial industry is key for any viable run for the White House.”

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