March 26, 2011- In lengthy interviews with a conservative magazine, the billionaire Koch brothers mounted an aggressive defense of their business and political interests, describing their liberal critics as “very, very extreme” and “very dangerous” and President Barack Obama as a “radical” with “Marxist” ideas whose success is owed largely to his “silver tongue.”
Obama is “the most radical president we’ve ever had as a nation … and has done more damage to the free enterprise system and long-term prosperity than any president we’ve ever had,” David Koch is quoted saying in a story posted late Friday on the website of the Weekly Standard.
In a grudging reference to Obama’s rhetorical skills, he added: “It just shows you what a person with a silver tongue can achieve.”
David’s brother Charles Koch said of Obama: “I’m not saying he’s a Marxist, but he’s internalized some Marxist models — that is, that business tends to be successful by exploiting its customers and workers.”
The Weekly Standard story comes after months of intensifying scrutiny of the Kochs’ funding of conservative causes, including the fights to limit carbon emissions and block last year’s Democratic healthcare overhaul, as well as this year’s showdown with public employee unions in Wisconsin.
The Kochs’ new notoriety as targets of the left was capped by the wide coverage of a prank in which a liberal blogger posing as David Koch recorded a 20-minute telephone call about the labor standoff with Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The prank, carried out by the editor of a Buffalo website, was “identity theft” and “extremely dishonest,” charged David Koch in the Standard piece, in which he confessed to being “really bothered” that the media coverage of the call focused more on him “rather than the guy who impersonated me! And I was criticized as someone who’s got a death grip on the governor and his policies. And that I control him — I mean, that’s insane!”
Koch also called out the liberal protestors who held a raucous rally outside a January summit of major conservative donors in Rancho Mirage, Calif., organized by Koch Industries, the brothers’ privately held oil, chemical and consumer products company.
“These people were very, very extreme,” David Koch said of the protestors, “and I think very dangerous.”