Herman Cain Has Long Ties to Koch Brothers

Far from outsider, Cain's campaign full of Koch associates
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2011 7:38 AM CDT
Herman Cain Has Long Ties to Koch Brothers
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain gives a thumbs-up to a staff member after finishing a speech as he campaigns yesterday in Cookesville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Herman Cain is the plain-talking and surging Republican presidential candidate everyone knows for his 9-9-9 plan and his days at the helm of Godfather's Pizza. But the AP takes a closer look at his resume, and finds close and longstanding ties to Americans for Prosperity, the right-leaning advocacy group funded by the controversial billionaire Koch brothers. It seems that, dating back as far as 2005, Cain traveled the country speaking to nascent AFP chapters; several of his top campaign aides, including his campaign manager, are AFP alums.

story continues below

"He's got a national network now that perhaps he wouldn't have had 15 or 20 years ago because of his work with AFP," says a top GOP official in Wisconsin. "For a presidential candidate, that's obviously helpful to have." Another AFP official calls Cain a "dynamic, pro-business speaker" and says Cain and the AFP share a "natural overlap." But his ties with AFP could hurt Cain's outsider image among Tea Partiers, and neither Cain nor the Kochs would respond to requests for comment. Liberals are already pouncing: "Herman Cain is the first presidential corporate spokes-candidate," says one lefty in Wisconsin. "The best way to have your issues talked about is to have a candidate in your pocket with snappy comebacks and easily branded policy papers which mask how destructive they would be." Over at Politico, a former colleague at the Federal Reserve is praising Cain. (Read more Herman Cain stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.