Quantcast

Donald Trump Blasts GOP Rivals at Koch Summit as ‘Puppets’

Politics

Loud-mouthed Donald Trump is more of a walking punchline than a viable presidential candidate, so it comes as a surprise to find myself actually agreeing with the current Republican front-runner:

Five GOP presidential candidates—former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina—flocked to Charles and David Koch's donor conference, Aug. 1-3, in Dana Point, California, a gathering of 450 top Republican party donors.

This network of conservative mega-donors, or the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, aims to spend a jaw-dropping $889 million for the presidential election, according to the Washington Post.

Seven sitting governors, six incumbent senators and two House members from the Republican party (including the aforementioned White House candidates) were extended an invite to the conference. Trump was not.

As EcoWatch previously pointed out, while the climate-denying mogul would be a perfect candidate for the Kochs, the deep-pocketed brothers have denied the Donald "access to their state-of-the-art data and refusing to let him speak to their gatherings of grassroots activists or major donors," Politico reported.

While many candidates in the crowded Republican field have taken this climate-denying mantle, on Sunday at the Freedom Partners forum, Sen. Cruz repeated his belief that “the data and facts don’t support” that global warming is occurring, the Guardian reported.

Cruz also criticized the Obama administration's latest clean power plan and also described how liberals use global warming to impose “massive government control” on the economy.

Bush also had harsh words for President Obama's new power plant regulations (surely in an effort to please the fossil fuel barons in the audience).

“I think it’s a disaster. It’s typical of the Obama administration, taking the power he doesn’t have,” Bush said, adding that the regulations were both “unconstitutional” and “a job killer.”

It appears that the candidates were well-received by the affluent attendees. "The Texas senator and the former Florida governor drew the most applause among the five Republicans who took the stage," Bloomberg reported from the event.

(No) thanks to the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling that approved unrestricted campaign spending by corporations, a crop of billionaires and their super PACs have held unwieldy influence on the state of U.S. politics. Politico reported: “The 67 biggest donors, each of whom gave $1 million or more, donated more than three times as much as the 508,000 smallest donors combined."

Meanwhile at a town hall meeting in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called the current campaign finance system a “sad state of affairs” and announced a new bill to "cripple the Kochs and right-wing billionaires by providing public funding for elections," PoliticsUSA reported.

“We’re going to introduce legislation which will allow people to run for office without having to beg money from the wealthy and the powerful,” the Vermont senator said.

Sanders has pledged not to accept super PAC money and is running his momentum-gathering campaign on small donations. “We must overturn [Citizens United] before it’s too late,” he added. “We are increasingly living in an oligarchy where big money is buying politicians.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an ‘Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery’

6 Governors Who Refuse to Comply With Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Hillary’s Horror Video Bashes GOP Climate Deniers

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New pine trees grow from the forest floor along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park on Sept. 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

By Alex Kirby

New forests are an apparently promising way to tackle global heating: the trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities. But there's a snag, because permanently lower river flows can be an unintended consequence.

Read More
Household actions lead to changes in collective behavior and are an essential part of social movements. Pixabay / Pexels

By Greg McDermid, Joule A Bergerson, Sheri Madigan

Hidden among all of the troubling environmental headlines from 2019 — and let's face it, there were plenty — was one encouraging sign: the world is waking up to the reality of climate change.

So now what?

Read More
Sponsored
Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More