Billionaire Charles Koch says he was ‘horrified’ by extreme immigration and foreign policy views of Republicans HE funded (but DOESN’T name names)
- Billionaire Republican mega donor Charles Koch, 85, said he is ‘horrified’ by some politicians he backed and help propel to public office
- ‘Some of the politicians that we had helped get elected, I would see them on TV… I was horrified,’ he told Axios on HBO in his first camera interview in four years
- He also said he ‘screwed up’ by being too partisan
- Specifically, Koch was disheartened by lawmakers he backed changing views on immigration, immigration reform and foreign policy
- Charles and his late bother David Koch created a massive network of libertarian and conservative donors funneling millions into their preferred candidates
Billionaire Republican donor Charles Koch said in an interview released Tuesday that he is ‘horrified’ by some of the politicians he and his network have backed over the years.
‘Some of the politicians that we had helped get elected, I would see them on TV and they would be talking about policies that were antithetical against immigration, against immigration reform, against a more peaceful foreign policy. I was horrified,’ Koch told Axios on HBO in his first on-camera interview in four years.
Koch, 85, did not specifically name any politicians he is repelled by helping propel to office.
Charles and his late brother David Koch built a network of libertarian and conservative donors – the duo became commonly known and referred to as The Koch Brothers.
Their mega donations were crucial in conservative circles for getting lawmakers into office that would support their ideals.
‘We had vetted them all and they all seemed aligned on our major issues and on empowering people,’ Koch told Mike Allen of politicians his network backed. ‘And then once they got elected – I didn’t expect them to fully agree with us on everything, but to at least be champions on some of the major ones we were working on and that they said they were – and then do the opposite.’
Billionaire Republican mega donor Charles Koch said he is ‘horrified’ by some politicians he backed and help propel to public office
Koch sat down with Axios on HBO for his first on-camera interview in four years alongside his co-author Brian Hooks (center) of their new book ‘Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World’
Charles and his late brother David Koch created a massive network of libertarian and conservative donors funneling millions into their preferred candidates
Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, which Forbes designated Monday as America’s largest private company.
Despite his past regret, Koch’s Super PAC Americans for Prosperity Action is funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Georgia Senate election.
Both incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are facing runoff elections there on January 5, which will determine control of the Senate as Joe Biden takes office.
‘We think that he can actually make a difference if he’s returned to the Senate,’ Koch said of Perdue.
‘I’m not big into regrets,’ he said.
Koch also made it clear that candidates or politicians have to be ‘popular’ with him because he only will back them from his massive network if he believes in them and believes in himself.
‘All the divisions today, we didn’t create,’ he said. ‘They were there before, and they are there after.’
During his interview, Koch also claimed he ‘screwed up’ during his career in political activities by being too partisan.
‘We just screwed up by being partisan rather than approaching it nonpartisan,’ Koch said, adding that he would rather help people get elected who want to empower others.
‘I mean if we’re going to help elect people who are going to be champions for these policies that empower people so they can realize their potential and succeed by helping others succeed,’ he continued.
Koch also said he ‘screwed up’ by conducting his political activities in a too partisan way
Koch was joined by Axios at his home in Wichita, Kansas following the publication last week of his new book ‘Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World,’ which he wrote with Brian Hooks – who was worked with him for 20 years.
In the book, he wrote: ‘Boy, did we screw up. What a mess!’
‘[P]artisan politics prevented us from achieving the thing that motivated us to get involved in politics in the first place — helping people by removing barriers,’ he continued.
Koch told Axios that he is now looking to go down a new road with a less divisive strategy.
‘I have made many mistakes in business,’ he said. ‘But business is a lot easier because the basic nature of it is not conflict. It’s not divisive.’
‘Politics is win/lose,’ Koch added.In his book, Koch admitted he was ‘slow to react’ to the fact that he was backing people with such a partisan divide.