Just when people thought this presidential election year couldn’t get any more bizarre, the political floor shifted and dropped again to a lower level of unbelievable.
The news came from conservative Charles Koch in an ABC News interview Sunday. He said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton would be a better president than Republican White House contenders Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Keep in mind that Koch last year, with his brother David and others, announced plans to dump $900 million to influence the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections in favor of conservative candidates.
To turn away from the Republican field toward Clinton is a radical shift for Charles Koch, a billionaire from Wichita, Kansas. Yet he said Bill Clinton was better than George W. Bush as president in controlling government growth.
On Tuesday voters will go to the polls for primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The outcome is expected to add to the White House hopes of Clinton over democratic socialist Bernie Sanders and Trump over Cruz and Kasich.
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Koch said he hasn’t, and probably won’t, support any GOP candidate in the remaining weeks of the primary campaign because of their divisive rhetoric. He told ABC: “We said, ‘Here are the issues: You’ve got to be like Ronald Reagan and compete on making the country better rather than tearing down your opponents.’”
Koch lambasted Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States as “antithetical to our approach, but what was worse was this ‘We’ll have them register (notion).’ That’s reminiscent of Nazi Germany. I mean that’s monstrous, as I said at the time.”
Trump had said, and then backed away from a proposed database to track Muslims in the U.S.
Koch also criticized Cruz’s notion of “carpet-bombing” the Islamic State militant fighters.
It makes sense that Koch is retreating from the outrageous, outlandish, overbearing behavior of Trump. The New York billionaire continues to defy political gravity with his candidacy flying high despite negative things he has said and done concerning women, minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities and people of different faiths.
And if the Koch reaction to the GOP presidential field isn’t weird enough, now Cruz and Kasich plan to collaborate against Trump.
Kansas City political operative Jeff Roe, who is Cruz’s campaign manager, said in a statement: “To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead.”
Kasich’s campaign on Sunday said: “Keeping Trump from winning a plurality in Indiana is critical to keeping him under 1,237 bound delegates before Cleveland.”
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Lewis Diuguid is a columnist for the Kansas City Star. , LLC.