2020-11-14 00:41:07 UTC
funding the Tea Party because it gave rise to Donald Trump - and DIDN'T stop
vast government spending
*Libertarian billionaire Charles Koch says he now regrets funding Tea
Party-aligned groups because they helped deeped the U.S.'s partisan political
*'Boy, did we screw up!' the 85-year-old Koch says in his new book. 'What a
*The Tea Party sprung up in the run-up to the 2010 midterms as a response to the
2008 election of Democratic President Barack Obama
*The movement was supposed to be centered around trimming the national debt
*But many believe it opened the door to President Donald Trump, who took
advantage of the partisan split when he won in 2016
*Koch called the Tea Party unsuccessful 'given that we're coming off a
Republican administration with the largest government spending in history'
Libertarian billionaire Charles Koch says he now regrets funding Tea
Party-aligned groups because it deepened partisan tensions in the United States.
'Boy, did we screw up!' the 85-year-old Koch says in a forthcoming book,
according to The Wall Street Journal. 'What a mess!'
The Tea Party rose to prominence in the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections, as
a response to the election of Democratic President Barack Obama in 2008.
Tea Party candidates often centered their message around decreasing the national
debt, trying to color the new president as a big spender.
Koch admitted that the effort didn't really work, pointing to the ballooning
debt under Republican President Donald Trump.
Trump sharpened the partisan tendencies in the nation as well.
'We did not create the Tea Party. We shared their concern about unsustainable
government spending, and we supported some Tea Party groups on that issue,' Koch
told The Journal. 'But it seems to me the Tea Party was largely unsuccessful
long-term, given that we're coming off a Republican administration with the
largest government spending in history.'
While Koch is still heavily donating to Republicans and wouldn't say who he
voted for in the 2020 race, he's also working across the aisle with Democrats on
certain issue areas including immigration, criminal justice reform and limiting
U.S. intervention abroad, The Journal reported.
He's also partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union, which is
non-partisan but gets linked to the left, and the LeBron James Family
Foundation, on projects.
Koch has a new book, 'Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down
World,' that came out this month.
He explained that the key to successful long-term movements is to 'unite a
diversity of people behind a common goal.'
'That's our approach today,' he said.
And unlike some in the Republican Party, Koch was clear who the next set of
American leaders were - and said he was open to working with President-elect
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
'I congratulate Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their victory,' he told The
Journal in an email. 'I look forward to finding ways to work with them to break
down the barriers holding people back, whether in the economy, criminal justice,
immigration, the COVID-19 pandemic, or anywhere else.'
'At the same time, I hope we all use this post-election period to find a better
way forward. Because of partisanship, weve come to expect too much of politics
and too little of ourselves and one another,' Koch also advised.