Hillary Clinton rejects endorsement of billionaire Charles Koch because he 'denies climate change'

Ms Clinton needed to show a decisive hand after she was accused of accepting money from the fracking and fossil fuel industry

 

Rachael Revesz
New York
Tuesday 26 April 2016 09:12 BST
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Ms Clinton has spoken against the Koch brothers in the recent past
Ms Clinton has spoken against the Koch brothers in the recent past (Reuters)

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Hillary Clinton has swiftly shut down any suggestion that she would welcome an endorsement from wealthy Koch Industries CEO, Charles Koch.

The man who has spent millions to bankroll Republicans and conservative causes - he plans to spend $900 million on the 2016 election alone - hinted that he might support Ms Clinton over the Republican candidates during an interview with ABC News.

Ms Clinton posted a tweet to say she is “not interested” in receiving an endorsement from someone who “denies climate change”.

Mr Koch’s fortune is mostly based on fossil fuels, according to Think Progress, and has said he believes the world has been "warming some” but that “theres a big debate on that”.

Koch Family Foundations have also donated money to organizations that deny climate change.

A study carried out by Yale sociologist Justin Farrell found that funding has had an important effect on how people perceive the issue.

In January, Ms Clinton said in a speech on climate change: “most [Republicans] are not that ill-informed. They just have to do what the Koch brothers tell them.”

During the interview on Sunday, interviewer Jonathan Karl asked Mr Koch whether Ms Clinton might be a better president than current candidates on the Republican side.

“It’s possible,” he replied. “It’s possible.”

Mr Koch had previously praised Bill Clinton, saying “in some ways” he was a better president than George W Bush, but the increase in spending and growth of government were larger under Mr Bush than Mr Clinton.

He was then asked if he would directly support Ms Clinton.

“But on some of the Republican candidates we would— before we could support them, we’d have to believe their actions will be quite different than the rhetoric we’ve heard so far,” he said after some hesitation.

Ms Clinton has already come under heavy scrutiny for having ties to Wall Street, earning $675,000 for giving speeches at Goldman Sachs, and for receiving donations from individuals associated to the fossil fuel industry.

She was also paid almost $1 million for speeches from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, on whose board sits a former lobbyist for TransCanada, the company building a controversial oil pipeline.

Her actions and donors prompted Greenpeace to create a petition, demanding that she sign a pledge not to accept money from the fossil fuel industry.

Ms Clinton has vowed to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent in 2025, a lesser amount that that promised by rival Bernie Sanders.

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