Wednesday, August 26, 2015

CEO says attacks on him and his brother are “beneath the dignity … of the president.”

By Mike Allen
Politico
8/25/15 8:36 PM EDT

Charles Koch hit back at criticism of “the Koch brothers” during President Barack Obama’s energy speech in Las Vegas earlier this week, saying he was “flabbergasted” by the attack and charging that Obama made the dig as a favor to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who appeared with him.

“It’s beneath the president, the dignity of the president, to be doing that,” Koch said during a phone interview Tuesday.

Koch’s blistering comments came as he and his brother David, whose conservative political network plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the 2016 election, have spoken out more frequently in an attempt to blunt Democratic attacks on their political influence and insinuations about their motives.

Reid has been particularly relentless, calling the Kochs “shadowy billionaires” who seek to “rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest 1 percent,” among many other charges. At the National Clean Energy Summit at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center on Monday, Obama joined the fray.

The president drew applause when he said: “[Y]ou start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding — that’s a problem.”

But Koch, who is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, said his opposition to subsidies for clean energy companies — or any other private businesses — doesn’t mean he’s against their success. Rolling back corporate welfare is one of the top issues Koch is pursuing with his richly funded political network.

Koch said his company also opposes subsidies for fossil fuels. And he portrayed Obama’s remarks as an unwarranted personal attack.

Read more at: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/charles-koch-blasts-obama-121746.html


Charles Koch AP Photo 2015


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