David Vitter is shouting his love for the Koch brothers from the rooftops.
The Republican senator from Louisiana hosted a town hall in Shreveport this week, where he declared, to the applause of the audience, that Charles and David Koch are “two of the most patriotic Americans in the history of the earth.” Vitter was responding to someone asking a question about the millions of dollars the brothers have poured into Republican races.
According to video posted by American Bridge, the senator later added at the March 18 event: “God bless the Koch brothers. They’re fighting for our freedoms.”
Many Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have come out in full force against the billionaire brothers. Last month, the Nevada Democrat railed against a new round of anti-Obamacare ads funded by a Koch-backed organization, calling the Koch brothers “un-American.” Earlier this month, he said on the Senate floor that the GOP is “addicted to Koch” and that the duo are trying to “buy America.”
Reid has also blamed the Kochs for the stalled U.S. aid to Ukraine. The Democrat linked the brothers to Republicans demanding a delay of regulation by the Internal Revenue Service of non-profit political advocacy groups be included in the Ukraine package.
The New York Times reported Thursday that the Koch-backed group Americans For Prosperity has spent up to 10 times as much in the 2014 midterm elections as any outside Democratic organization, and that their end goal stretches beyond President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“The president’s out there touting billions of dollars on climate change," Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told the Times. "We want Americans to think about what they promised with the last social welfare boondoggle and look at what the actual result is.”
With billions invested in energy, transportation and manufacturing, the Kochs have "a significant interest in seeing that future government regulation is limited," the Times notes.
There's good reason for Vitter to come out in support of the brothers. There are two big Louisiana elections on the horizon. Vitter himself is running again for governor next year, and he is likely counting on the Kochs to back him. There’s also Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is up for re-election this year and who has been facing a barrage of political attacks from Americans for Prosperity.