Illinois' richest man, Ken Griffin, has announced his support for GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio, saying he believes Rubio will be the next president.
Griffin, the founder and CEO of the Chicago firm Citadel, first revealed his endorsement in an interview on CNBC on Wednesday.
"I'm really excited to be supporting Marco Rubio," the billionaire hedge-fund manager said in the interview. "He will be the next president of the United States."
A spokesperson for Griffin later confirmed the endorsement in a statement from Griffin explaining why he supports Rubio over other candidates.
"I am very excited to support Senator Marco Rubio in his effort to become the 45th President of the United States," Griffin said in a statement. "I have known Senator Rubio for a number of years and he is an inspiring, courageous and bold leader who embodies the American dream of freedom and equal opportunity for all. Senator Rubio is uniquely qualified to lead our nation with conviction and courage to tackle the pressing issues of our time, whether it's strengthening our military, ensuring the safety of our people, or lifting the weight of government from our shoulders in everything from free enterprise to health care. He possesses the vision, talent and determination to renew the American spirit for generations to come."
Before he endorsed Rubio, Griffin gave $100,000 apiece to PACs supporting Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, according to CNBC. He had also previously given $100,000 to a PAC supporting Rubio.
During the CNBC interview, Griffin was asked why he chose Rubio over Bush after Walker dropped out of the race. Griffin answered, "I think that Marco Rubio has the vision of where America needs to go."
Griffin also praised Rubio's position on foreign policy and small-government approach to domestic policy.