Harry Reid’s War On Koch
Posted at 5:39 p.m. on Feb. 26
“The Koch Brothers are ‘un-American’” is the new “Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years” in the Senate, per a series of floor speeches given Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Reid, who has picked up the habit of making political floor statements, took the conservative mega-donors to task as part of an emerging narrative from Senate Democrats that such massive campaign spending — and the negative ads that come with it — are destroying the political process.
The Koch-backed Americans For Prosperity already has poured tens of millions of dollars into the 2014 cycle in an attempt to knock out vulnerable incumbent Democrats, and it appears Democrats are trying to discredit the effort knowing they might never be able to match it financially.
“You see, when you make billions of dollars a year, you can be as immoral and dishonest as your money will allow you to be,” Reid said in his second floor speech of the day on the Kochs. “It’s too bad they’re trying to buy America, and it’s time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.”
Wednesday morning, Reid had opened the Senate floor by discussing stories told in ads run by Americans For Prosperity against the Democrats’ health care law: “All of them are untrue. But they’re being told all over America,” Reid said.
As CQ Roll Call reported earlier, Reid’s remarks were a precursor to a press conference held by other Senate Democrats. His comments were then summarily dismissed by Republicans who challenged the leader’s sweeping claim that “all” stories told by Obamacare detractors are untrue.
Reid’s second speech played in large part as a defense of his earlier statements. He used a column penned in The Hill by one of his own political consultants as evidence of his case.
“I can’t say that every one of the Koch brothers’ ads are a lie, but I’ll say this: the vast, vast majority of them are,” Reid said.
In the Democratic press conference Wednesday, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., for example, discussed an AFP ad that ran in her state against Rep. Gary Peters, who is running for Senate. Independent fact-checking of the spot, which was broadcast as part of a more than $1 million ad buy, called into question the validity of the testimonial it presented.