Business tycoons Steve Wynn and Donald Trump have a lot in common. They both made fortunes in the casino and real estate business, both attended the University of Pennsylvania, and both have struggled identifying with one political party throughout their tenures as billionaires.
And now they have yet another common bond, in that they both hope Trump wins the 2016 GOP nomination and ultimately becomes the 45th president of the United States.
According to the Fox Business Network (FBN), Wynn is serving as an unofficial campaign advisor to the ever-blunt 2016 GOP frontrunner, and his influence was reportedly made known this week after Trump finally signed a deal with the Republican Party asserting he wouldn’t run as a third-party candidate.
“They are talking regularly,” an unnamed GOP insider told FBN. “Trump calls and asks Steve, ‘How am I doing?’ and then Steve tells him.”
Wynn With Loyalty
The first item of business for Wynn, 73, was to convince Trump, 69, to sign the Republican National Committee’s “loyalty pledge” and rule out an independent party run, something he’s refused to commit to in the past, including at the first GOP debate.
Michael Weaver, Wynn’s spokesman, said his boss “suggested to Mr. Trump that a third-party run would be unwise.”
On Thursday, the Donald announced he wouldn’t run, unless on the GOP ticket.
“The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up,” Trump declared. “And for that reason, I have signed the pledge, so I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and for the conservative principals for which it stands.”
Trump’s signing of the oath might add fuel to his already hot campaign fire, assuring many weary Republican voters, whose main goal is to block Hillary Clinton from inhabiting 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that supporting him isn’t an all-in move.
Trump and Wynn’s partnership isn’t a complete surprise, though the two certainly haven’t always been buddy-buddy.
Back in 1998, New York Magazine ran a profile on the two casino magnates with a quote of Wynn saying, “No sane or rational guy would respond to Trump… He’s a fool.” On the contrary, Trump called Wynn’s Vegas resort “one of the ugliest masses I’ve seen.”
The two have also differed on casino regulations, primarily that of online poker. Wynn has been an outspoken critic of legalizing Internet gambling, while Trump supports it, saying in 2011, “It has to happen because many other countries are doing it and like usual the US is just missing out.”
But Wynn and Trump have long-since repaired their relationship. Consulting Wynn for campaign advice certainly goes with the norm of the Donald doing things a little differently than most presidential hopefuls, such as conferring with businessmen over political operatives.
He hasn’t hired any former presidential campaign advisors, and according to the polls, he doesn’t need them. On the national level, Trump has a commanding 14-point lead over his nearest rival, one more non-politician in neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.