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Donald Trump Has a Powerful New Enemy

1945 logo 1945 2/5/2023 Harry Kazianis
Donald Trump © Provided by 1945 Donald Trump

It seems the mighty Koch network is trying to jump into the 2024 GOP Presidental primary and will back one candidate.

The kicker: the candidate won't be Donald J. Trump.

And that is a really big deal. 

From CNN this AM: 

"The deep-pocketed network associated with billionaire Charles Koch is preparing to throw its money and weight behind a single Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential primary – in a move that could significantly reshape the GOP field.

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Americans for Prosperity Action, the main political arm of the Koch network, “is prepared to support a candidate in the Republican presidential primary who can lead our country forward, and who can win,” Emily Seidel, the CEO of Americans for Prosperity and a top adviser at AFP Action, wrote in a memo released Sunday.

The memo does not mention Donald Trump, but an official with AFP Action confirmed to CNN that the network is not planning to support the former president’s White House bid."

Could the Koch network have the money and influence to beat Donald Trump?

A short answer: no. And even if they did, it could backfire - bigly. 

I say that because Donald Trump transformed the Republican Party from being a pro-business, low taxes party to a MAGA-centric populist party.

While the Koch network and MAGA share some similarities - they both want a restrained foreign policy (there are some exceptions for sure) and share some libertarian commonalities - that is where the similarities end. 

Where the Kochs and Trump diverge in a major way is trade. Team Koch was very much against China tariffs and is very much for free trade across the board, with no exceptions - like the GOP was before Donald Trump ran in 2015. 

The challenge for the Koch Brothers is Donald Trump brought in so many new voters into the GOP that those voters are uniquely tied to him. Even if Koch could sway the 2024 GOP primary and somehow hand the election to, say, Mike Pence or Mike Pompeo, MAGA voters would be enraged. It could even be enough to get Donald Trump to go Teddy Roosevelt and form his own version of a Bull Moose Party and run as a third-party candidate. 

Tred carefully, mighty Koch brothers. 

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