Megadonor Says 2016 Campaign Is ‘Mainly About Personalities, and Your Mother Sucked Rotten Eggs

By
Charles Koch
Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/2015 The Washington Post

One of the Koch brothers is upset about the lack of substance in the Republican debates.

Charles Koch, the second oldest of the infamous set of brothers, recently gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal promoting his new book, Good Profit. He also decided it was time to “spout off” about his disappointment in the GOP race so far and compare himself to a baby whale. 

I always followed the mama whale’s advice to the baby whale: Son, the time you get harpooned is when you come up to spout off,” Koch said. “But I was too thick to realize I was being harpooned already and spouting off would maybe lessen the harpoons, or at least it wouldn’t make ‘em any worse.”

The current race is “mainly about personalities, and ‘your mother sucked rotten eggs,’” Koch told the Journal. Hmmm, I wonder who he’s talking about.

Koch says he wants to hear about the issues, like ending tax subsidies and tax breaks for corporations, making it easier for Americans to start businesses, and overhauling the criminal-justice system — an issue the Kochs have made some bipartisan alliances for. 

The 79-year-old and his younger brother David run Koch Industries, one of the largest privately owned companies in America that began as an oil-refining company and is currently involved in almost every industry imaginable, from ranching to Dixie cup manufacturing. The family has always called for lower taxes and fewer regulations, attacked renewable energy, and spent millions supporting free-market Republican candidates.

They intend to spend about $750 million on the 2016 election, but the brothers still don’t have a favorite presidential contender. They were big fans of Scott Walker during his gubernatorial standoffs with labor unions, but supporting him at this point would not be very profitable, as he has already exited the race. Koch says he’ll wait until the end of the year to decide how much to spend on the 2016 elections and which — if any — candidate he supports. 

The brothers originally said they planned to spend nearly $900 million in the 2016 race, but shrank their expectations in an interview with Marketplace last week “because people aren’t contributing as much.”

Even if the Kochs don’t get too excited about the presidential contest, it’s likely they will continue flooding state and local contests with massive spending. Americans for Prosperity and the American Energy Alliance, the family’s two major conservative advocacy groups, raised more than $400 million during the 2012 elections.