Billionaire and conservative political fundraiser shocked audiences on NBC News recently by stating he thought that in “some ways” Bill Clinton was a better president than George W. Bush. When asked if he thought Hillary Clinton might therefore be a better president than other Republican candidates, Koch responded, “It’s possible.”
Koch has been a longtime activist for and supporter of conservative causes. However, that reflects a basically libertarian core thinking. Therefore, he is for private enterprise and against big government. But it also places him at odds with more traditional social conservatives. He has criticized candidate Donald Trump’s proposal to refuse immigration to Muslims. He criticizes corporate welfare, and has worked with President Obama to reform the criminal justice system.
For a number of years, the Koch Brothers have hosted meetings of conservative Republican political donors. Through this network, they had reportedly raised nearly $900 million with which to support the Republican candidate for president in the fall election. For Charles to even respond, “It’s possible” to the idea of preferring Hillary Clinton as president to Donald Trump, demonstrates how unusual and unpredictable this election has been so far.
Later, Koch said he would not spend money to try to stop Trump. And Hillary’s actions as president would have to be better from her campaign rhetoric.
So far, he has gotten involved only in some Senate races, opposing Democratic candidates. Despite all the money he raised, he and his network may sit out the 2016 presidential race.
Charles Koch, with his brother David, own and run the second largest private company in the United States, Koch Industries. They are both highly actively politically supporting conservative causes, including the Libertarian Party, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. However, Charles has recently expressed opinions that surprise some of his political opponents. He wrote an op-ed piece agreeing with Senator Bernard Sanders that social and economic inequality was at dangerous levels in the United States. He did say he believed, unlike Sanders, the solution lay in private enterprise, not increasing the powers of government.
Koch has donated to the Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas to teach business skills to at risk youth in that state. Koch Industries donated $6 million to Wichita State University to renovate its basketball arena. It was renamed the Charles Koch Arena, and Charles continues to support the school’s athletic program. The William E. Simon Foundation in 2011 gave Koch its William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.
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