NEWS AND OPINION:
Behold: FOX News anchor Megyn Kelly has landed an exclusive interview with Charles Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries, Inc., a private group of companies that employs some 60,000 Americans, and another 40,000 workers overseas.
“I have been a libertarian in my past, but now I consider myself a classical liberal,” Mr. Koch tells Ms. Kelly in the interview, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. “A classical liberal is someone who wants a society that maximizes peace, stability, tolerance and well-being for everyone. One that opens opportunities for everyone to advance themselves, that opens it to innovations that improves people’s lives and a society in which people succeed by helping others improve their lives. And that’s what I’m working for.”
In addition, Mr. Koch has not picked out any favorites among the Republican hopefuls, though he still opts to support the Grand Old Party.
“All this wasteful, irresponsible spending that’s heading us for a financial cliff — not just by the Democrats but by the Republicans. The reason we tend to support Republicans is they’re taking us toward the cliff at only 70 miles an hour and the Democrats are taking us 100 miles an hour,” Mr. Koch notes, characterizing the GOP as “the lesser of evils.”
Mr. Koch also affirms that Democrats and President Obama have tried to make “boogie men” out of him, and his brother David Koch.
“Oh definitely, that’s a full-time job on their part. I mean, that’s why I’ve never been that fond of politics and only got into it recently kicking and screaming,” Mr. Koch tells Ms. Kelly. “Of what I give to charity, the part that goes to or I donate — the part that goes to politics is a very, very, very small piece of that because I don’t think politicians are going to reverse the trajectory of this country. I think it’s going to depend on the American people.”
THE DEBATES PILE UP
Democratic debate? What Democratic debate? It’s already in the rearview mirror as the political tidal wave continues to rush forward. The third and fourth Republican candidate encounters are already upon us, with some advance melodrama.
CNBC sponsors debate No. 3 on Oct. 28 at the University of Colorado in Boulder, an event titled “Your Money, Your Vote”; the moderators are anchors Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick, plus John Harwood, a New York Times political writer.
Alas, there’s a squabble afoot. The network has declared the presidential candidates will not be allowed to offer personal opening and closing statements — vital moments when they reinforce their policy and personalities before the public. A half dozen of the candidates are already protesting the decision.
Meanwhile, the FOX Business Network has partnered with The Wall Street Journal to host debate No. 4 on Tuesday, November 10 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The network also will feature an “undercard” debate for candidates ranking below a certain polling threshold.
“The debate will focus on jobs, taxes, and the general health of the economy, as well as domestic and international policy issues,” the network says, adding that the choice of moderators, assorted entry criteria and other details are still under discussion. One more GOP debate follows in December, with six more to follow through March. The Democrats have two more this year, and three in 2016.
A GIPPER MOMENT
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library has notified Inside the Beltway that there’s a cheerful little sale going on in the site’s bodacious gift shop. Snappy fall jackets bearing the library’s officials seal are on sale, some waterproof, some made of microfiber — along with a Reagan football jerseys and a particularly appealing “Win one for the Gipper” sweatshirt in old school gray cotton. Sale prices range from $30 to $60; the prices are good through Oct. 20.
For information, consult ReaganFoundation.org, under the Museum Store heading, where there is much merchandise, indeed.
THE HANDSHAKE HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD
Democratic hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders “gave an immense gift” to rival Hillary Rodham Clinton during the candidates first sanctioned bout with one another on Tuesday. The gift, says PJ Media fonder Roger L. Simon, was the moment when Mr. Sanders declared the American public wasn’t interested in Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal, deeming it “tiresome peripheral stuff.”
The two shook hands, warranting much applause. In the aftermath, Mrs. Clinton’s feel-good moment and her perceived victory in the debate “could encourage Joe Biden to stay out of the race,” Mr. Simon suggests. This could be a good thing, he says, citing the vice president’s rising, positive poll numbers.
“Biden may ultimately be a more dangerous candidate than Clinton. At least some recent polls showing most Republican candidates beating Hillary but losing to Biden,” he observes.
HILLARY’S $16.5 MILLION MINUTE
“Speaking for just 31 minutes at last night’s Democratic presidential debate, Clinton proposed $515 billion in new domestic spending over 10 years. That amounts to over $16.5 billion per minute she spoke, and that doesn’t include all the spending she has proposed since announcing her campaign.”
— From a Republican National Committee analysis of Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s performance in the event.
BIG GOVERNMENT IN DISGUISE
There was chatter, talking points, sniping, posturing and a little substance here and there during the Democratic debate. But there was little talk about abortion issues and the Planned Parenthood matter. The pro-life folks have taken notice, citing Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s accusation that pro-life leaders use “big government” to implement pro-life policies.
“Mrs. Clinton seems to feel abortion giant Planned Parenthood is a victim of big government. Correction, Mrs. Clinton: with over half a billion in taxpayer funds filling their coffers Planned Parenthood is big government,” says Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at March for Life Action.
“Abortion is the human rights abuse of today and should absolutely be a bipartisan issue. It is truly sad that the life issues weren’t addressed head-on,” notes Jeanne Mancini, education and defense fund president for the organization.
POLL DU JOUR
• 46 percent of Republican primary voters say they would “definitely vote” for Ben Carson for the Republican nomination; 49 percent of conservatives agree.
• 37 percent overall say they would definitely vote for Donald Trump; 37 percent of conservatives agree.
• 31 percent overall say they “might vote” for Mr. Carson; 36 percent of conservatives agree.
• 34 percent overall say they might vote for Mr. Trump; 36 percent of conservatives agree.
• 18 percent overall said they would “never” vote for Mr. Trump; 16 percent of conservatives agree.
• 6 percent overall say they would never vote for Mr. Carson; 4 percent of conservatives agree.
Source: A Fox News poll of 398 registered Republican voters conducted Oct. 10-12.
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