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Charles Koch says he’s open to backing Democrats in the midterms



Charles Koch
Billionaire Charles Koch,
head of the Koch network.

YouTube/CBS This

  • Billionaire Charles Koch, whose network has long
    supported libertarian causes, said he’s open to backing
    Democratic candidates if they align with his platform.
  • Top donors in the Koch network gathered in Colorado
    Springs this past weekend.
  • In a rebuke of President Donald Trump and the
    Republican Party, Koch network co-chair Brian Hooks said “the
    divisiveness of this White House is causing long-term

Frustrated with “the divisiveness of this White House”,
billionaire Charles Koch, whose lucrative network has long funded
conservative causes, said he’s open to backing Democrats in the

Koch’s comments on the upcoming midterm elections this November
came at a gathering of Koch network donors in
Colorado Springs this past weekend, according to a report from
Washington Post
. During the gathering, the group reportedly
distanced itself from President Donald Trump and the Republican

“I don’t care what initials are in front, or after, somebody’s
name. … I’d like there to be many more politicians who would
embrace and have the courage to run on a platform like this,”
Koch said when asked about Democrats possibly retaking control of
one or both chambers of Congress this fall.

Along with the divisive rhetoric in Washington that Koch network
co-chair Brian Hooks said is “causing long-term damage”, the
libertarian-leaning network also condemned the Trump
administration’s tariff and immigration policies.

“The urge to protect ourselves from change has doomed many
countries throughout history,” Koch said in a video shown at the
meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal. “This
protectionist mind-set has destroyed countless businesses.”

This is not the first time that the Koch network has sought to
use its political influence to push back against Trump. Last
year, the group
offered millions in campaign funding
to Republicans who voted
against “Trumpcare”, the replacement plan for the Affordable Care
Act that Republicans tried to repeal in March.

And last month, the Koch group
spoke out against Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy
encouraging him to stop separating migrant children from parents
at the border.

Hooks criticized the “tremendous lack of leadership” under Trump
and the “deterioration of the core institutions of society,”
according to the Post.

But while the donor group appears to be showing an openness to
Democratic candidates, the network is still expected to be a
strong campaign resource for conservative candidates running in
districts where Democrats could be vulnerable.

Many of Trump’s strongest supporters also happen to be some of
the Koch group’s biggest donors. The network is expected to spend
$400 million on policy issues and political campaigns this
election season, according to the report.

While being critical of the president, Koch did not place all of
the blame on Trump.

“We’ve had divisiveness long before Trump became president and
we’ll have it long after he’s no longer president,” Koch said.
“I’m into hating the sin, not the sinner.”

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