As the 2016 GOP primary season began, the famed Koch brothers were gearing up to spread a lot of their considerable cash around the race. But as the campaign rolls on, those big dollar donors seem to be pulling back and may sit out the primaries, causing heartburn for candidates like Jeb Bush and Rand Paul.
According to USA Today, business moguls David and Charles Koch have expressed dissatisfaction with the tone of the primary race and have announced that they aren’t backing anyone in the primaries.
“I have no plans to support anybody in the primary now,” Charles Koch told the paper.
Koch went on to say that he and his brother are not very happy with what the candidates are saying.
“If they start saying things we think are beneficial overall and will change the trajectory of the country,” Koch said, “then that would be good, but we have to believe also they’ll follow through on it, and by and large, candidates don’t do that.”
This is a big disappointment to several of the candidates who vied for the Kochs’ support.
Bush, the once assumed obvious GOP candidate, will be especially hard hit, considering that he is dialing back spending for a struggling campaign as he continues to wallow at the bottom of the polls.
But Bush wasn’t alone in his attempt to attract Koch money for this primary. Earlier this year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Governor Scott Walker–the latter of whom has already left the race—all appeared at a Koch event in July.
The politically active brothers have been a deep well of money for center right political campaigns. Last year, for instance, the brothers spent upwards to $300 million on the 2014 election cycle. Despite many claims on the left, though, even with the Kochs’ spending, both sides spent about the same amount on politics in 2014.
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