Wednesday, April 22, 2015

David Koch backtracks on Scott Walker

John Nichols from The Nation qualifies earlier reports of an (almost) endorsement.

The billionaire Koch brothers have always had a thing for Scott Walker. But do they support him for president? Well, sort of, but, you know, um, not just yet.

According to several reports from a New York State Republican Party fundraising event on Monday, David Koch told the big donors, "We will support whoever the candidate is. But it should be Scott Walker."

That sounded like an endorsement. So did what Koch said outside the Manhattan event, at which Walker also spoke. Koch hailed the governor of Wisconsin "a tremendous candidate." Could Walker beat former secretary of state Hillary Clinton? "No question about it," chirped Koch. "If enough Republicans have a thing to say— why, he'll defeat her by a major margin."

But hold on. As confused headline writers churned out the "news" that the monied Machiavellis had found their prince, David Koch was scrambling to clarify that "While I think Governor Walker is terrific, let me be clear, I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point in time."

Oops. Touche'. As one of those "confused headline writers" I take this opportunity to defer to Nichols. Check out his report on how Walker does not fare well against Hillary Clinton.

(In fairness, I did report on the Koch's second look at Jeb Bush.)

Nichols concludes:

... there may be reason why the Kochs are not quite ready to invest any of that billion-dollar budget in Scott Walker's primary campaign. It may be that, for all of his talk about how Walker would win by "a major margin" in November, 2016, David Koch has seen the polls.

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