Charles Koch said in a recent interview with “Axios on HBO” that he “screwed up by being partisan” all these years, rather than using his massive political spending machine in a more nonpartisan fashion.
The 85-year-old, who offered no apology for his actions, said he is disillusioned with the political results he achieved but remains optimistic about what he says will be a less divisive strategy going forward.
Axios noted that “Koch — chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, which Forbes yesterday designated as America’s largest private company — has been the left’s favorite face of big-spending political action.”
Koch claimed in the interview that he wants to see people elected “who are going to be champions for … policies that empower people so they can realize their potential and succeed by helping others succeed.”
In his new book, “Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World,” Koch laments that “[P]artisan politics prevented us from achieving the thing that motivated us to get involved in politics in the first place — helping people by removing barriers.”
Koch claimed that Republican politicians his network supported lied and changed their policy positions after getting elected, which included issues like immigration, criminal justice reform and “a more peaceful foreign policy.” Koch said he was “horrified” by this.
Despite his newfound nonpartisanship, the Koch network’s super PAC, Americans for Prosperity Action, is pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, which will determine which party controls the Senate.
Asked why the money is still flowing to Republicans, “Brian Hooks, who has worked with Koch for 20 years, and is chairman and CEO of Stand Together, founded by Koch as a philanthropic umbrella,” told Axios it’s because they have long supported Sen. David Perdue (R-GA).
“[W]e think that he can actually make a difference if he’s returned to the Senate,” Hooks said.
Regardless, Koch made no apology for his past decisions, despite the detriment caused to America’s political atmosphere, telling Axios: “I’m not big into regrets.”
“All the divisions today, we didn’t create,” Koch said. “They were there before, and they are there after.”