Charles Koch stands for a portrait after an interview with the Washington Post at the Freedom Partners Summit on Monday, August 3, 2015 in Dana Point, CA.
Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/The Washington Post/Getty

Charles Koch: No 2016 favorites yet


The conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch don’t have a favorite candidate yet.

“Last count, there are 126 Republicans running. Who are my three favorites? I don’t know, because I don’t know most of them,” Charles Koch told The Washington Post in an interview released on Tuesday.

The Koch brothers told USA Today earlier this year they were considering Govs. Scott Walker and Jeb Bush and Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio for their support in 2016, but Koch told The Washington Post they still didn’t have a single favorite.

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“Well, we’ve named five that we think have some combination of probability of winning the nomination and of having the most issues that we agree on. We don’t agree with any of them on all the issues,” he said.

The Koch-backed network plans to spend nearly $1 billion ahead of the next 2016 elections, double the amount they raised during the 2012 campaign – rivaling the number both parties are expected to spend, combined – but have been shy to pick a candidate so far.

In 2012, the Koch donors backed their first presidential candidate in May, giving $10,000 to Michele Bachmann’s congressional committee and ‘MichelePAC’, the Minessota Republican’s action committee, a month before she announced her presidential campaign.

There is one candidate the Kochs appear not to like: Donald Trump.

The brothers have kept the bombastic Republican frontrunner from speaking at their events and are denying him use of their sophisticated data.

The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, 7/29/15, 10:46 PM ET

Trump snubbed by Koch Brothers

Charles and David Koch are hosting a Republican donor summit this weekend in California. Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz will all attend the event; but current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was not invited to the party.

Koch Brothers

Charles Koch: No 2016 favorites yet