Mitt Romney speaking at a Koch summit in previous years; David Koch speaking at his own gala
Friday, billionaire David Koch and presidential candidate Mitt Romney are set to speak at the a Tea Party conference financed by the same Koch brother’s fortune. The Defending the Dream Summit, a conference funded by Koch and sponsored by his Americans for Prosperity group, is a yearly event where Republican politicians come to praise the Koch brothers and their political network. For instance, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), as he was seeking the Republican nomination, paid tribute to the Koch’s political network at the same event in 2007.
Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner, which happens to be owned by an allied billionaire named Phil Anschutz, obtained a Romney campaign memo that details its outreach effort to the Koch brothers and the Tea Party. The memo acknowledges what ThinkProgress has reported for two years now — that the Kochs are the “financial engine of the Tea Party,” as the memo put it. Moreover, the memo expands on Romney’s courtship of the billionaire petrochemical brothers, including a meeting in January at an elite social club in Manhattan and an August meeting that had to be canceled because of Hurricane Irene:
Americans for Prosperity is led by billionaire Republican donor David Koch, whose endorsement Romney seeks. An Oct. 4 internal Romney campaign memo obtained by The Washington Examiner describes Koch as the “financial engine of the Tea Party” even though Koch “denies being directly involved.” Koch endorsed Romney for president in 2008 and his well-funded group is credited with electing dozens of Republicans to Congress in 2010 and creating a network of Tea Party loyalists who are critical to Romney’s chances of winning the nomination, political strategists say. [...]
The memo says Romney was scheduled to meet with David Koch on August 28 at the billionaire’s home in Southampton, N.Y. — where Koch held a major event for Romney in 2010 — but Hurricane Irene foiled their plans. The two last met in January for lunch in Manhattan at the Links Club, an elite social club for avid golfers.
Indeed, not only did Koch endorse Romney in 2008, but one of Romney’s first major campaign fundraisers for the 2012 cycle was hosted at Koch’s mansion in the Hamptons last year.
This post first appeared at Think Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress