Election 2016

The Kochs Will Back the Republican Candidates if They Stop Being Republicans

Charles Koch grabbed the headlines yesterday by saying Hillary Clinton may be a better president than the Republican candidates, but he also said the Republican candidates need to stop being Republicans.

Koch spoke to ABC yesterday and said he'll remain on the sidelines unless Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, whoever the nominee is, renounce the positions that got them nominated to begin with.

During the same interview, Koch said the remaining Republican candidates include some “terrible role models,” and he would only support Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) if they go back on some of the policy proposals they have made thus far, including Cruz’s proposal to carpet bomb ISIS and Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from the country.

“What was worse was this ‘we’ll have them all registered,'” Koch said during the interview, referring to Trump’s proposal to create a national database of all Muslims in the United States. “That’s reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I mean — that’s monstrous, as I said at the time.”

The Kochs must really miss the George W. Bush administration, a time when Republicans still pretended to be "compassionate conservatives" while pillaging public coffers and deregulating everything in sight.

That is not today's GOP. Today's party is openly hostile and even the idea of showing compassion has been cast aside as some kind of liberal weakness. Ignoring social movement conservatives is a lot easier when they enjoy exclusive control over a party that is now frequently opposed by the Chamber of Commerce. The Republican party has steadily crept from being the pro-business party to, in many cases, being actively anti-business.

We aren't the only ones who noticed when the Export-Import Bank was shuttered because Republicans in Congress and at least one independent senator from Vermont have no idea how anything works.

Needless to say, it would be a really big deal if the Kochs stay out of the presidential election. I expect they will continue to fund the fight at the local level, but the Kochs reportedly planned to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the general election.