Known more for his political crusades, Charles Koch is one of America’s billionaires that dapples in the political world. Koch, along with his brother David, inherited Koch Industries from their father in 1967 and together, the brothers have grown it into the biggest private firm in the United States. Currently, Charles Koch is worth an estimated $1.5 billion.
Koch also owns and finances the Koch Foundation. By gathering donations from his other wealthy friends and business associates, Charles Koch has been able to make charitable contributions to numerous colleges to create learning environments that align with his philanthropic ways, as well as numerous political donations and control in the political sector. He is a classic libertarian and is often associated with the conservative Republican movement.
This makes it no surprise that after raising $400 million to try and get Mitt Romney elected as president in 2012 only to lose to Barak Obama, the brothers have spent 4 years preparing for the 2016 campaign and have made it a goal to raise $900 million to put towards the election to guarantee the republican candidate wins. Things aren’t going quite as planned though. Like many other elite Republicans, the Koch brothers didn’t expect Donald Trump to spring forward as the party’s frontrunner.
Koch didn’t expect Trump’s message to become so popular with Americans. Trump has known the real estate mogul Trump for a while, but clash over his policies on trade, foreign policy, and taxes. Trump did try to get the support of the Koch brothers, he even went so far as to hire Corey Lewandowski, a veteran of the Koch’s advocacy group Americans For Prosperity, as his campaign manager. After the Koch’s made it clear they weren’t supporting Trump, the candidate took to Twitter with a series of rants aimed at the Koch brothers and the other Republican candidates.
The Kochs have tossed around a few ideas on how to handle the situation, and what candidate they can safely back because no one currently running embodies all their standards and values. They are considering using their funds to target Trump and guarantee he doesn’t win the candidacy, but that will come at a price because some of their donors support Trump and his candidacy.
No decisions have been made so far, the path is a tricky one. While it seems they are running out of time, any attacks on Trump that come from the Koch camp are sure to bring about a rebuttal from Trump who would certainly take the opportunity to point out once again that he is the party outsider, he isn’t part of the establishment, and the elites who run the political system are taking aim at him. This crazy election cycle is confusing to Koch. One thing is certain, he will continue his quest to help guide the Republican party down the path that can lead to success both in the White House and the country.