Koch Group Video Praising Sanders Causes Debate Scuffle
Freedom Partners, the group at the center of billionaire Charles Koch's political network, debuted a video praising Bernie Sanders for his opposition to corporate welfare on Wednesday. Clinton supporters hit Sanders on the video, and Sanders' campaign shot back. Both candidates also discussed the issue in the Univision debate in Miami, Fla., on Wednesday night.
"The leaders of the fossil fuel industries, the Koch brothers, have just paid for an ad that supports Sanders," Clinton declared in the Univision debate. Earlier that day, her supporters claimed the video was proof that the Koch network was trying to help Sanders, allegedly because the Kochs see Sanders as an easier foe to beat in the general election.
"The leaders of the fossil fuel industry, the Koch brothers, just paid for an ad praising Sanders" - HRC That video: https://t.co/2YQ6m4Pq7R
— Gabriel Debenedetti (@gdebenedetti) March 10, 2016
Sanders shot back, declaring that no one in Congress has fought against the Kochs more than he has. Earlier today, Sanders' campaign responded to the video, claiming that it was meant to hurt the Vermont senator by creating the perception that he is the Kochs' favored candidate. This association would be toxic in the Democratic primary. Indeed, Sanders' digital fundraising manager, Michael Whitney, said the ad was a "contribution" to the Clinton campaign.
.@SenSanders says no one in Congress has fought more against the Koch Brothers than he has. #DemDebate
— grist (@grist) March 10, 2016
That brief exchange brought Bernie Sanders the most Twitter mentions he received in the debate.
— Brandwatch React (@BW_React) March 10, 2016