Sen. Vitter: David and Charles Koch 'Fighting for Our Freedoms'

Thursday, 20 Mar 2014 11:17 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Sen. David Vitter praised conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch as "two of the most patriotic Americans" ever during a town hall discussion about the growing influence of lobbyists.

In a video of his effusive praise first posted by Talking Points Memo, Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, answers a woman concerned about lobbyists "paying so much money" at a March 18 town hall at an elementary school in Blanchard, La.

Vitter explained it was a First Amendment right to be "able to approach your legislators," and to "be able to hire people to help you do that is ... a protected right."

He then declared: "I think the Koch Brothers are two of the most patriotic Americans in the history of the Earth," prompting applause from the audience, the video shows.

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Story continues below video.



Vitter added shortly afterward: "Maybe this is a good example because I'll be honest with you, my reaction is, God bless the Koch brothers," Vitter said. "They're fighting for our freedoms."

In a longer version obtained by Politico, Vitter, who is running for governor of Louisiana in 2015, says he's “not defending big money in politics” by backing the role lobbyists play, but only pointing out First Amendment protections.

The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is spending millions attacking incumbent Democrats on climate and healthcare issues, including Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.

Politico noted Democrats, in response, are trying to make the influence of the brothers an issue during the midterms — with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the most vociferous critic, calling them "un-American."



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