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Charles Koch: 'Discouraged' By 2016 Campaigns of 'Vitriol and Dishonest Attacks'

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 07:49 AM

Billionaire businessman Charles Koch said Tuesday that he and his brother David are not yet backing any specific GOP candidate in the 2016 election, and for the most part, he has been "discouraged for a long time" over the state of politics when it comes to both parties.

"Listen, I made a vow," Koch told MSNBC "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski in an exclusive, multi-part interview that aired Tuesday morning.

 "I'm not going to publicly comment on any candidate. David said some nice words about [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker and that was written up that we were giving millions to his campaign. Do you know how much we've given to his campaign? Zero."

Koch also denied that he and his brother gave money to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. "We haven't given any money to him, but another, some other people who support some of our things gave money," Koch said.

"[They] gave $15 million to him. That was attributed to us, [but] we had nothing to do with it."

Koch said he's been involved in fighting against corporate welfare and reducing debt for over 50 years, and for 40 of them, he was not involved in politics "because I was so disgusted with politics and both parties."

And then when George W. Bush came along, Koch said he thought that there was hope.

"By 2003, three years later, he was going the opposite way," said Koch. "He was one of the biggest spenders of all time, created more destructive regulations along with the Fed, pumping all this money into housing."

Also, he said that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issues brought down the system, and the United States "was getting into these economy wars that made no sense to me at that time."

And while Koch said he is a Republican, he has also cast a Democratic vote now and then, and he told MSNBC that he doesn't care which party it is, but he just wants "somebody who's going to advance these ideas, to take us away from this two-tiered system, [from] getting involved in all sorts of unproductive things, and all this waste. Our total funded debt and unfunded liabilities are probably over $100 trillion now and going up to the sky, so we're headed for disaster."

But so far, he does not yet see a candidate "in great measure" who will support the ideals that he and brother back. Koch said he and his brother hope to raise $250 million for all elections, not only the presidential campaign, next year.

But reports that some 150 families nationwide are funding most presidential campaigns does not bother him, depending on the end result they're seeking. Meanwhile, there are two-year presidential campaigns that go on "because the government is picking winners and losers," and as people "want to be a winner more than you do a loser, you give to slant it your way."

Koch said that most of his money will go to his foundation to advance his ideas, and to get to "pick winners and losers, and then we won't have two-year presidential campaigns, because people will realize it's more important to run their own lives rather than control part of government."

And he does expect something in return for his money. "I would love to have the government stop this corporate welfare," he said. "That's what I want. I want the government to let companies, or require that companies only profit by helping make other people's lives better. That's what I want and that's what I'm working for."

Koch also pushed back against the public perception that he and his brother buy influence, because "there's hundreds of billions being spent" to keep government big and re-elect incumbents, "and somebody's got to fight it...If we didn't do it, who would be trying to stop this racket? This is a huge racket, this wrecking the country."

But he said he is not worried about the public's complaints about his political influence.

"To get in this business, you've got to realize that Harry Truman is right, if you can't stand the heat, don't go in the kitchen," said Koch. "So I recognize that. I mean people aren't going to scare me off...I feel a moral obligation to help other people learn these and transform their lives."

But it is "frightening for the country" when public officials "try to hurt and destroy private citizens who oppose what they're doing, rather than have a conversation and maybe find as we've done with the White House, find areas where we can work together on things with can agree to make the country better instead of this vitriol and these dishonest attacks."

Koch, though, said that while it looked like he and his brother won their quest when most of the candidates they backed in recent years won, they actually "didn't win much of anything."

Related stories:

Charles Koch Discloses Cutback in Political Spending for 2016

Charles Koch's Wisdom Can Make You Profits


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Billionaire businessman Charles Koch said Tuesday that he and his brother David are not yet backing any specific GOP candidate in the 2016 election, and for the most part, he has been discouraged for a long time over the state of politics when it comes to both parties. ...
koch, campaigns, dishonest, attacks
Tuesday, 03 Nov 2015 07:49 AM
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