Koch Brothers to Let Jeb Bush ‘Audition’ for Their Support

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at a "Politics and Eggs" event, a breakfast fixture for 2016 presidential prospects, Friday, April 17, 2015, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Jeb Bush is going to nail his Koch audition.Photo: Elise Amendola/AP/Corbis

Yesterday, Nicholas Confessore reported that David Koch, the extremely influential Republican donor, told other Republican donors that he and his brother Charles would support Scott Walker for the Republican nomination. The Kochs’ support in a Republican primary is potentially transformative, because they are known to write powerfully argued op-eds and deliver compelling speeches that marshal unimpeachable logic on behalf of their ideals. But the comment, which was not intended for public consumption, was quickly disputed by the Kochs, who don’t want to forfeit their chance to make other candidates compete for their blessing. “Let me be clear, I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point in time,” Mr. Koch declared for the record.

The Koch damage control continues this morning, in the form of a Mike Allen report that, per an unnamed “top Koch aide,” the brothers remain uncommitted. Indeed, reports Allen, “Jeb Bush will be given a chance to audition for the brothers’ support.” The Kochs seem to be hoping for a lead character who can play the role a little less patrician and a little more Middle America, but Jeb will be given an opportunity to show that he can stretch. So for anybody concerned that the democratic process might be short-circuited by the Kochs precipitously anointing a front man, rest assured. All the candidates will have the chance to curry their favor.