COLORADO SPRINGS — Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch on Saturday chastised the political class, saying that those seeking public office were offering “frightening” answers and largely failing to promote a society that provides opportunity for all.
“Our goal is to unite people from all walks of life to work for what we call a free and open society — a society of opportunity, of free speech, free exchange, and what we call permissionless innovation,” Koch told conservative donors assembled in a hotel ballroom here for the opening reception of his political network’s semiannual retreat.
“This would be a society where people succeed not by rigging the system, but by helping others improve their lives,” Koch said.
“It would be great if politicians were supporting us in these efforts,” he added, without calling out any by name. “And a few are. But, by and large, they aren’t. And the good news is that we have built this network for just such a condition. And that puts us in position to make progress, in spite of the current political situation, where we don’t really, in some cases, have good options.”
Koch’s remarks came as his network was set to host nearly a dozen Republican elected officials, including U.S. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, at this weekend’s policy and political seminar. But he appeared to be making veiled reference to the current battle for the White House and his resistance to engaging the network in support of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
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