Surprise: Koch Brother Praises Sanders in Op-Ed
But, no, Bernie isn't getting an endorsement
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2016 9:58 AM CST
A 2012 photo of Charles Koch, who thinks Bernie Sanders makes some good points.   (Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

(Newser) – On the campaign trail, Bernie Sanders has said this: "If the Koch brothers and the billionaire class hate my guts, I welcome their hatred. Because I am going to stand with working families." He may be surprised, then, to see an op-ed praising him in the Washington Post Friday written by none other than Charles Koch. No, Koch doesn't want Sanders to be president, but he applauds Sanders "for giving a voice to many Americans struggling to get ahead in a system too often stacked in favor of the haves." And he writes that he and the senator share a fundamental belief:

  • "He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field. I agree with him."

Koch adds that he, too, thinks that our criminal justice system needs reform. "Today, if you're poor and get caught possessing and selling pot, you could end up in jail," while the "rules change dramatically" for the rich. But he also thinks "misguided policies" by a too-meddlesome government has helped create a "permanent underclass," and thus he's opposed to Sanders' plan to expand the government even more. He doesn't mention any Republicans, but he writes that as soon as any candidate emerges "who, on balance, can demonstrate a commitment to a set of ideas and values that will lead to peace, civility and well-being rather than conflict, contempt and division," that person will get the Koch endorsement. Click for the full column.