News & Politics

Mega Donor Koch: 'It's Possible' that Hillary Would Be Preferable to a Republican

The man whose donor network raised more than $400 million for Republicans in 2012 thinks that it’s “possible” that electing another Clinton to the White House would be preferable to a Republican.

Politico:

Koch, the CEO of Koch Industries, made the comment to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl during an interview that aired on ABC’s “This Week.”

Koch, his brother David and their associated groups plan to spend nearly $900 million on the 2016 elections.

The comment came after Karl asked about Bill Clinton’s presidency. Koch said Clinton was “in some ways” better than George W. Bush.

“As far as the growth of government, the increase in spending, it was 2½ times under Bush that it was under Clinton,” he said.

Karl followed up by asking whether Koch could see himself supporting Hillary Clinton.

Koch hesitated before giving an answer that didn’t rule out the possibility.

“We would have to believe her actions would have to be quite different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way,” he said.

No worries there. If anything, Hillary’s actions will be even more extreme than her rhetoric.

It’s doubtful that Koch would have been an enthusiastic supporter of either Trump or Cruz. He’s a libertarian with decidedly different views on many issues than either of the candidates.

Koch will still be donating to Republican House and Senate candidates. This is of prime importance if the GOP is to keep both chambers under its control. But the impact would be huge if he decided to sit out the 2016 presidential race.

Charles Koch says he won’t “put a penny” into trying to stop Donald Trump, that there are “terrible role models” among the remaining Republican presidential candidates, and that his massive political network may decide to sit out of the presidential race entirely.

“These personal attacks and pitting one person against the other — that’s the message you’re sending the country,” Koch said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that aired Sunday. “You’re role models and you’re terrible role models. So how — I don’t know how we could support ’em.”

The billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and one of the most powerful and controversial figures in politics said he and his brother David Koch have also turned down pleas to join the “Never Trump” movement, which aims to deny the real estate mogul the nomination.

Instead Koch said he and his brother plan to stay out of the party’s nomination fight.

“We haven’t put a penny in any of these campaigns, pro or con,” Koch said. “That’s not what we do. What we’re trying to do is build alliances to make the country better.”

Koch, author of the book “Good Profit,” said he would only consider contributing to either Trump or Cruz if they backtrack on some of their most controversial promises. That includes one of Cruz’s favorite lines of his campaign stump speech — to carpet bomb ISIS in the Middle East and “make the sand glow.”

“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,” Koch said. “This is frightening.”

Koch also slammed Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims, saying his proposal of a temporary travel ban was “antithetical.”

“What was worse was this ‘we’ll have them all registered,'” Koch said. “That’s reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I mean — that’s monstrous as I said at the time.”

Trump is a rich man, but can he really self-fund to the tune of $400 million or more? It would be unprecedented for a candidate to use so much of his personal fortune. And I would guess that most of Trump’s wealth is not in assets easily convertible to cash, but in real estate.

Can a GOP candidate win without the support of Koch and his deep pockets? I think the more relevant question is whether a candidate can even win with it.