The last time gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson kicked in $5 million to help Newt Gingrich, times were bleak for the Republican presidential candidate. Gingrich was down in the South Carolina polls and the conservative elite hammered Gingrich and his attack on Mitt Romney's private-equity company, Bain Capital, which he said "looted" other companies.
At the time, sources with ties to Adelson said the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino was just helping a friend and that, if the money didn't help, Gingrich probably wouldn't get any more help via the Winning Our Future Super Pac.
Gingrich then won South Carolina. The Bain attack might have worked. And now Adelson's wife, Miriam, is giving $5 million more for ads in Florida -- enough to counter Romney's $2 million new ad buy and the Romney-boosting Super Pac, Restore Our Future.
"This is a friend helping a friend," said a source. "There are no future committments."
The head of Winning Our Future, Rick Tyler, wouldn't discuss the sources of his funding. And, noting two Wednesday polls showing Gingrich leading in Florida, he joked that he might not need to spend the money.
"It looks like Mitt is doing fine losing this race without our help," Tyler said.