The Republican megadonor brothers Charles and David Koch have identified five presidential contenders who may receive their support in the primary, Charles Koch told USA Today in an interview published Tuesday.
The prospects are Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Marco Rubio of Florida, all of whom have declared their candidacies, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who have not yet formally entered the race.
“Those are the ones we have talked to the most and who seem to be the possible leaders,” Koch told the newspaper, adding that multiple candidates may win financial backing. “What we've told them all is that right now, we're not supporting anyone,” he said. “We're telling them that if they want our support, one way to get it is articulating a good message to help Americans get a better understanding and a better appreciation of how certain policies … will benefit them and will benefit all America.”
His interview comes after the New York Times reported Monday that David Koch told a group of New York Republican donors that he and his brother expect Walker to win the nomination. David Koch said in a statement later Monday that while he thinks highly of Walker, he wasn't making a formal endorsement.
In the interview, Charles Koch also provided new details of the previously reported $900 million budget the brothers' political network has planned for the 2016 cycle, saying only a third of it is earmarked specifically for electoral politics. The brothers are the fifth and sixth wealthiest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.