In a double whammy to Republicans, billionaire industrialist Charles Koch — one half of the evil Koch Brothers duo — said in an ABC interview that will air on “This Week” on Sunday that Hillary and Bill Clinton were better presidential material than most Republicans.
When interviewer Jonathan Karl asked Koch if he thinks putting Hillary Clinton in the White House would be better than one of the Republican candidates, he said:
“It’s possible. It’s possible.”
Yes, he said that twice. The video is at the end of the article.
Koch is famously underwhelmed by this year’s Republican candidates. He said in a January interview with Financial Times (requires subscription, but you can read about the interview here) that they’re not addressing the issues that concern him.
“It is hard for me to get a high level of enthusiasm because the things I’m passionate about, and I think this country urgently needs, aren’t being addressed.”
He spectacularly slammed Donald Trump on his plans to bar Muslims from entering the United States.
“You destroy our free society,” Koch said. “Who is it that said, ‘If you want to defend your liberty, the first thing you’ve got to do is defend the liberty of people you like the least?'”
Donald Trump has been disdainful of the Kochs and says that the politicians who accept money from them are “puppets.”
I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2015
Koch doesn’t seem to be a huge Ted Cruz fan, either, and thinks the Cruz plan to “carpet bomb” ISIS would be ineffective. From the the Financial Times interview, via the New York Times:
“I’ve studied revolutionaries a lot,” Mr. Koch said. “Mao said that the people are the sea in which the revolutionary swims. Not that we don’t need to defend ourselves and have better intelligence and all that, but how do we create an unfriendly sea for the terrorists in the Muslim communities? We haven’t done a good job of that.”
As for his praise for Pres. Bill Clinton, Koch said that Clinton was in some ways a better president than George W. Bush.
“In other ways, I mean [Clinton] wasn’t an exemplar. But as far as the growth of government, the increase in spending,” Koch said. “It was 2.5 times [more] under Bush than it was under Clinton.”
Will he actually vote for Hillary Clinton? Maybe. Here’s what he said — after a deep pause — when Karl asked him if he would support Clinton.
“We would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric. Let me put it that way,” he said.
Some Bernie Sanders supporters might suggest to Mr. Koch that Hillary’s his best pick. But if Koch thinks this is a compliment to the candidate who is probably going to be our front-runner, he’s wrong. Bernie Sanders supporters will see this as proof of their message that Clinton is a corporate shill, and Hillary Clinton likely won’t appreciate the Koch endorsement, either.
Before we start thinking Koch is on our side (ha), know that he is not. Charles Koch is on the side of money, greed, and profit. He’s concerned that big money is losing its influence in politics. From the the Financial Times interview, via the New York Times:
He told The Financial Times that “it doesn’t seem to faze them much” when he and fellow donors have presented candidates with a list of important issues to focus on. The return on investment of political spending might not be what it once was.
“I’m not confident,” Mr. Koch said. “I’d say there are some benefits. Ask me in 10 years.”
The Kochs and their groups haven’t yet backed any of the Republican candidates, but they plan to spend about $900 million in their efforts to buy the 2016 elections.
Watch the clip.
Featured image via screengrab