The world’s fifth and sixth richest people say they will donate money to multiple Republican presidential candidates in the coming campaign.
The good news for Republican presidential candidates seeking to get a slice of Koch brothers cash is that the siblings, two of the world’s richest individuals, seem to be in a sharing mood.
In a Saturday interview on the Larry Kudlow Show, a nationally syndicated radio broadcast, David Koch let it slip that the roughly $900 million that he and his brother, Charles, plan to lavish on the 2016 presidential race could find its way into the hands of more than one GOP contender.
“We are thinking of supporting several Republicans,” David Koch said, adding, “If we’re happy with the policies that these individuals are supporting, we’ll finance their campaigns.”
Koch said the brothers would begin writing checks to individual candidates in “the primary season, winter and next spring.”
The pledge to fund multiple Republicans is consistent with what Charles Koch told USA Today in April about the candidacies of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He indicated all six were at the top of the list in terms of who might receive funding.
“Those are the ones we have talked to the most and who seem to be the possible leaders,” Charles Koch said.
Cruz, Rubio and Paul all spoke at the Koch brothers’ event in Palm Springs, California, in January, which was dubbed the “American Recovery Policy Forum.” Walker has been a frequent recipient of Koch donations, and Bush also is considered to be still in the running for Koch backing.
“What we’ve told them all is that right now, we’re not supporting anyone,” Charles Koch said in April. “We’re telling them that if they want our support, one way to get it is articulating a good message to help Americans get a better understanding and a better appreciation of how certain policies … will benefit them and will benefit all America.”
The GOP field is still growing, and the Koch brothers seem content to let the sifting process play out before placing their chips on a single candidate.
“Only if somebody really stands out from the standpoint of their message and what they would actually do to benefit America and has a chance a decent chance of being elected, only then would we select one over the others,” Charles Koch told USA Today.
Charles and David Koch have matching fortunes of $51.3 billion dollars each, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, ranking them equal at number five in the world.