Charles Koch Finds Trump “Monstrous”, Cruz “Frightening”

Calling Donald Trump a fascist isn’t just a liberal fantasy. It’s historical accuracy that even billionaire conservative corporatist Charles Koch supports:

Charles Koch... of Stephen Colbert in deep satire disguise?
Charles Koch… of Stephen Colbert in deep satire disguise?

[Reporter Jonathan] KARL: What did you think when you first heard Donald Trump’s proposal to put a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States?

[Charles] KOCH: Well, obviously that’s antithetical to our approach, but what was worse was this we’ll have them all register. That’s reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I mean that’s monstrous as I said at the time [interview, This Week, ABC News, 2016.04.24].

Koch is also scared of the GOP’s second-place offering, Ted Cruz:

KARL: And when you hear another top presidential candidate talking about making the sand glow and carpet bombing in the Middle East…

KOCH: Well, that’s gotta be hyperbole, but I mean that a candidate, whether they believe it or not, would think that appeals to the American people. This is frightening [ABC, 2016.04.24].

Charles Koch is so dismayed with Trump’s fascism and Ted Cruz’s jingoism that he says he hasn’t thrown any money behind any of the Republican candidates and won’t support the nominee unless he hears something very different:

KARL: So are gonna sit out this presidential election?

KOCH: Well, we’ll see. I mean, when we get a nominee then we’ll explore that. And we don’t want arm waving. We want to know specifics.

KARL: You couldn’t see yourself supporting Hillary Clinton, could you?

KOCH: Well, I– that– her– we would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way. But on some of the Republican candidates we would– before we could support them, we’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far [ABC, 2016.04.24].

But don’t get too excited: the Koch brothers’ focus is where the real action happens—down-ticket, in state-level races:

Their spending typically is concentrated on influencing legislation at the congressional and state levels, rather than on the top of the ballot. That may make any hesitation to spend on the 2016 presidential race less significant than a broader reluctance to keep backing Republicans.

Asked if sitting out the presidential election was a possibility, Koch said “we’ll see.” He said he wanted specifics from the Republican candidates. “We’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far.”

The network of nonprofits and political organizations with connections to the Kochs raised $407 million in the 2012 election cycle, of which $58.2 million, or 14 percent, was directed at the presidential race. The biggest spender was Americans for Prosperity at $33.5 million [Ros Krasny, “Clinton Rebuffs Faint Praise from Koch Cool to 2016 Republicans,” Bloomberg News, 2016.04.24].

Through Americans for Prosperity, Charles and David Koch are spending their money to deny South Dakotans the benefits of Medicaid expansion. Senator Bernie Sanders, whom Koch didn’t mention in his remarks yesterday, understands that the Koch brothers would destroy even more good policy:

Well, you know, I think when you talk to the Koch brothers, understand what they mean, George. These guys want to eliminate Social Security. They want to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. They want to basically do away with virtually every major piece of legislation that has been passed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president.

That is their understanding of what government should be about. And needless to say, that is not my view.

On the other hand, I think you’ve got a lot of Republicans out there, working class Republicans, who understand that there’s something wrong when their kids can’t afford to go to college, something wrong when their jobs have gone to China and Mexico and they’re making 50 percent of what they used to make.

We have, in Vermont — and I think in this campaign — attracted a number of working class Republicans who understand that it’s important to have a government that fights for all of us and not just the 1 percent.

But why, that is not what the Koch brothers believe. They believe quite the — quite the contrary [Senator Bernie Sanders, interview with George Stephanopolous, This Week, 2016.04.24].

Charles Koch’s money is working against the common good. But at least his mouth is in the right place on the awfulness of the leaders of the Republican Presidential contest.


14 Responses to Charles Koch Finds Trump “Monstrous”, Cruz “Frightening”

  1. Yawn, nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.
    Clinton is a Goldwater republican. She’s a democrat in name only, lacking judgment, having never seen a war, bankster, or corporate lobbyist she didn’t like. Of course corporatist Kock’s will support Clinton over the nationalists mascarading as republicans because nationalist pick business winners and sometimes seize businesses. Koch is doing nothing more than preserving his empire.

  2. Porter Lansing

    This is just “KochHead” weasel double-speak. Truth is they’re very low on money and giving it to politicians who’ve not been able to convince us that global warming isn’t human caused and nothing to worry about proved to be futile. Peabody Energy has filed bankruptcy, oil is cheap, the ice caps are melting fast and the reality is … we level-minded liberals are winning. Adios, David & Charles. Giving cash to Pat Powers only got you a postcard from his last trip to Florida on your dime.

  3. CH,

    First, this is mostly a duplicate of my post that caught in moderation. I think it happened as I didn’t type in a good email address. Or maybe I’ve been banned. :)

    First, recognizing libertarians is getting harder and harder because they have become over-shadowed by the progressives in the Democrat party and conservatives in the GOP. When I got involved in politics, there were healthy segments of a civil libertarian philosophy in both parties. In many ways, they’ve gone the way of the unicorn. :)

    The Koch’s aren’t conservatives or nativists but are libertarians. Because on many issues conservatives and libertarians agree, the distinction is not always apparent when both parties have marginalized them or exterminated them.

    Brother’s Koch not being enamored with Trump or Cruz doesn’t surprise me. In fact, if they were enamored with them, I’d fall off my chair.

  4. The rumors are swirling that Clinton will pick Charles Koch as her vice president. Well, those rumors are swirling in my head. Whoever she picks will have to be approved by the brothers Koch so that they can go after Social Security and Medicare just like her hubby Bill did with Newt. Our only hope is that she has some kind of sex scandal with a page, dreadful thought, but money talks.

  5. Steve Sibson

    “First, recognizing libertarians is getting harder and harder because they have become over-shadowed by the progressives in the Democrat party and conservatives in the GOP.”

    Right the Koch’s are not conservatives, and neither is Trump. If libertarians are not conservatives, then Troy’s definition of conservatives must be Sklar’s “liberal corporate capitalists” that were sent up by the progressives. And Hillary calls herself a progressive. Once you drop all of the deceptive labels, it looks like the leadership of both parties are truly “progressive”…big government in partnership with big business. True conservatives have no choice. The war is over, the new world order is here.

  6. My good friend Bob is a pretty conservative fellow on most issues, I must say. And he’s a Libertarian. Just extreme on a couple of other issues. Bob’s definitely a fiscal conservative. Personally, very fiscally conservative.

  7. (Troy, no ban for you! It was the e-mail address; you omitted on letter. But that’s o.k.; I like your fuller second comment better. :-) )

  8. Donald Pay

    The Koch machine backed Scott Walker, funneling in about $15 million to a bloated campaign for a not-ready-for-prime-time candidate. When Scotty got pounded for bad showings in debates and on the stump in Iowa, all Trump had to do was go after him a couple times and his donor base collapsed and his candidacy was over. Yeah, Walker’s staff was bloated, and that irked the Koch’s. But it’s not as if the Koch’s hadn’t encouraged a bloated staff by giving Walker a lot of up-front money.

    Why the Kochs chose Walker to back isn’t hard to fathom. Walker is not a libertarian, not by a long shot. He’s a well-known crony capitalist whore. Walker will do anything to ingratiate himself to the corporate Ayn Randian elite. And it seems clear to me that crony capitalism, if it serves them and no one else, is something that’s higher on the Koch’s wish list than and ideological libertarianism. The Koch’s and Walker share a reptilian Nixonian concept of power.

  9. Steve,

    Your presumption of “Troy”s definition” is ridiculous. Words have meaning and the definition isn’t individual. Libertarians and conservatives often agree because their policy positions are the same. However, their rationale is different. Conservative’s rationale is based on what they deem in the public good and furthers their values. Libertarian’s rationale is what enhances individual liberty and dignity. A conservative would sacrifice liberty for order and promotion of their values. A libertarian would sacrifice order and promotion of their particular values for liberty. While their policies very often overlap but their rationale is different. Koch agrees very often with conservative positions but the concurrence is because he believes those positions enhance individual liberty and not because they promote order or his values.

  10. Steve Sibson

    “Conservative’s rationale is based on what they deem in the public good and furthers their values. Libertarian’s rationale is what enhances individual liberty and dignity.”

    Right Troy, conservatives are communitarian or communist-lite. Libertarians are for individual liberties. So when is the SDGOP going to stop lying about their promotion of free markets and instead admit there are for “administered markets” by partnership between big government and big business? That means they are pragmatic progressives, not what most view as being conservative. Individual liberties are the traditional worldview of America’s founding, or “conservative”.

  11. Steve,

    You are putting words in my mouth. On most issues, conservatives and libertarians hold the same policy positions but there are some where they disagree (immigration, international intervention, death penalty, drug laws, marriage laws, the reach of the concept of personal privacy).

    Ted Cruz is a conservative. The Roman Senator Cato was a conservative. Wm. Buckley was a conservative.

    Rand Paul is a libertarian. The the 18th century writings under the pseudonym “Cato” were libertarian (for which the Cato Institute is named). Frederick Hayek was mostly a libertarian (his monetary supply prescriptions are better described as conservative while everything else is clearly libertarian).

    There is a difference.

  12. Steve Sibson

    Ted Cruz is a liberal corporate capitalist who is helping implement globalism, while wearing conservative clothes.

  13. Porter Lansing

    Libertarians are just Republicans who want to smoke pot and cheat on their wives. The idea that a libertarian wants to be left alone with less government when their entire life is centered around participating in the USA group is invalid and without logic. Hey liberty guy, try to exist without a court system to adjudicate your disputes or a police force and military to protect your property or a government stopping your neighbor from fouling your water source. Libertarians are just selfish. They take and take from the benefits of our group and refuse to contribute to what is their life line. The nations founders formed a group to fight the British. They founded a group to facilitate growth aka the U.S.A. They realized no one is an island and only through a strong group would anyone prosper. Only now, when our government in mostly on auto-pilot comes the rise of the self-indulgent, egocentric white middle class conservatives who feel they can make it on their own, until a tragedy strikes and they come whimpering back to the group, begging for help. e.g. the way SoDak continually begs for aid from USA when in peril but disparages the government the rest of the time.

  14. owen reitzel

    “Ted Cruz is a liberal corporate capitalist who is helping implement globalism, while wearing conservative clothes.”

    Ah oh Steve. Now you have to explain yourself to Cruz follower Stace Nelson. This should be fun.

    Stace, oh Stace