Dear Commons Community,
The powerful network of political groups funded by conservative billionaire Charles Koch and his late brother, David Koch, has announced it’s “turning the page” on Donald Trump and seeking another Republican to back in a 2024 run for the presidency. As reported by The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
“To write a new chapter for our country, we need to turn the page on the past,” Emily Seidel — CEO of the network’s flagship organization, Americans for Prosperity (AFP)— wrote in a memo released yesterday.
“The best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter. The American people have shown that they’re ready to move on, and so AFP will help them do that,” she added.
AFP doesn’t specifically name Trump, but its perspective on him, and preferring someone “new,” is clear.
A related super PAC — AFP Action — is also “prepared to support a candidate in the Republican presidential primary who can lead our country forward, and who can win,” the memo added. AFP Action spent roughly $80 million in the 2022 election cycle, according to the campaign finance tracking website OpenSecrets.
AFP also stressed that it would no longer sit out primaries but instead will become active in the contests early, following the poor performance in general elections of GOP extremists backed by Trump in various primaries. The AFP memo argued in the memo that the Republican Party is “nominating bad candidates who are advocating for things that go against core American principles.”
AFP was founded in 2004 by oil barons and manufacturers Charles and David Koch, who largely funded the right-wing “tea party” movement of the Republican Party. David Koch died in 2019.
Charles Koch has since decried the division in the nation that he sees as harming American life and even its business climate — and claims he wants to help heal the rift.
“Boy did we screw up; what a mess,” he wrote about the blistering partisan divide in his 2020 book, “Believe in People.”
Trump has blasted the brothers — who have supported free trade rather than Trump’s economic nationalism and isolationism — as “globalists” and a “total joke.”
The AFP position would be a significant boost to a Republican Party without Trump as its leader in 2024.