‘Boy did we screw up! What a mess!’ Billionaire Charles Koch says he regrets funding the Tea Party because it gave rise to Donald Trump – and DIDN’T stop vast government spending
- Libertarian billionaire Charles Koch says he now regrets funding Tea Party-aligned groups because they helped deeped the U.S.’s partisan political divide
- ‘Boy, did we screw up!’ the 85-year-old Koch says in his new book. ‘What a mess!’
- The Tea Party sprung up in the run-up to the 2010 midterms as a response to the 2008 election of Democratic President Barack Obama
- The movement was supposed to be centered around trimming the national debt
- But many believe it opened the door to President Donald Trump, who took advantage of the partisan split when he won in 2016
- Koch called the Tea Party unsuccessful ‘given that we’re coming off a Republican administration with the largest government spending in history’
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Libertarian billionaire Charles Koch says he now regrets funding Tea Party-aligned groups because it deepened partisan tensions in the United States.
‘Boy, did we screw up!’ the 85-year-old Koch says in a forthcoming book, according to The Wall Street Journal. ‘What a mess!’
Charles Koch, the 85-year-old libertarian billionaire known as a big funder behind Republican causes, says he now regrets funding Tea Party-aligned groups because they were unsuccessful and also created a more partisan atmosphere
Tea Party supporters gather outside the Lincoln Memorial in August 2010. The Tea Party was a response to the election of Democratic President Barack Obama, with the stated aim to shrink the national debt
The Tea Party is often seen as the precursor of President Donald Trump, but not because he made the national debt a big issue, but rather he took advantage of the uber partisan nature of U.S. politics when he got elected in 2016
Tea Party candidates often centered their message around decreasing the national debt, trying to color the new president as a big spender.
Koch admitted that the effort didn’t really work, pointing to the ballooning debt under Republican President Donald Trump.
Trump sharpened the partisan tendencies in the nation as well.
‘We did not create the Tea Party. We shared their concern about unsustainable government spending, and we supported some Tea Party groups on that issue,’ Koch told The Journal. ‘But it seems to me the Tea Party was largely unsuccessful long-term, given that we’re coming off a Republican administration with the largest government spending in history.’
While Koch is still heavily donating to Republicans and wouldn’t say who he voted for in the 2020 race, he’s also working across the aisle with Democrats on certain issue areas including immigration, criminal justice reform and limiting U.S. intervention abroad, The Journal reported.
He’s also partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is non-partisan but gets linked to the left, and the LeBron James Family Foundation, on projects.
Koch has a new book, ‘Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World,’ that came out this month.
He explained that the key to successful long-term movements is to ‘unite a diversity of people behind a common goal.’
‘That’s our approach today,’ he said.
And unlike some in the Republican Party, Koch was clear who the next set of American leaders were – and said he was open to working with President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
‘I congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,’ he told The Journal in an email. ‘I look forward to finding ways to work with them to break down the barriers holding people back, whether in the economy, criminal justice, immigration, the COVID-19 pandemic, or anywhere else.’
‘At the same time, I hope we all use this post-election period to find a better way forward. Because of partisanship, we’ve come to expect too much of politics and too little of ourselves and one another,’ Koch also advised.