Harry Reid: ‘Republicans are addicted to Koch’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) continued his assault on the conservative Koch brothers on Tuesday, accusing them of trying to rig the American political system to their benefit and saying Republicans are "addicted to Koch."

Reid last week called the brothers -- Charles and David Koch -- "un-American" and continued in that vein Tuesday on the Senate floor.

"...What is un-American is when shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest one percent," Reid said, according to remarks from his office.

Reid added: "I believe in an America where economic opportunity is open to all. But based on their actions and the policies they promote, the Koch brothers seem to believe in an America where the system is rigged to benefit the very wealthy."

Reid also accused the GOP of selling out to the Kochs (pronounced "Cokes") and their deep pockets.

"And the Koch brothers are returning the favor with huge donations to Republican Senate candidates," Reid said. "Senate Republicans are addicted to Koch."

Reid said he wouldn't stop his verbal assault on the Koch brothers as long as they, in his words, continued to attempt to "buy America."

"And as long as the Koch brothers continue to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections, I will continue to do all I can to expose their intentions," Reid said.

Update 4:26 p.m.: Koch Companies President and COO Philip Ellender responds with the following statement:

"This topic is worthy of vigorous dialogue and civil debate between people who exercise mutual respect for others with opposing viewpoints. We are disappointed that Senator Reid is attacking private citizens rather than the problems facing this nation."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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