(DCWatchdog.com) – In a significant win for 2024 GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley and a blow to her rival Ron DeSantis, the former has secured the Republican nomination endorsement of the billionaire Koch brothers’ political organization, which has been attacking former President Donald Trump.
“[Nikki Haley] has what it takes to lead a policy agenda to take on our nation’s biggest challenges and help ensure our country’s best days are ahead,” declared Americans for Prosperity Action, the Koch brothers’ influential political network, in a statement.
“With the grassroots and data capability we bring to bear in this race, no other organization is better equipped to help her do it,” it added.
The anti-Trump group’s announcement potentially enhances Haley’s position in a tough primary race against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and leading contender Donald Trump, The New York Post observes.
It notes Americans for Prosperity Action could significantly strengthen Haley’s campaign, especially in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire, where the former UN ambassador has been actively campaigning.
The Post also points out that the Koch network, known for its significant financial resources, has already spent millions in opposition to Trump in the Republican primary.
Thus, its endorsement clearly signifies its preference for Haley as the optimal Republican alternative to Trump.
Charles and David Koch, sons of Fred Koch, founder of Koch Industries, have historically channeled vast amounts of money into think tanks and political machinery to shift public opinion towards libertarian ideals.
Haley expressed her appreciation for the endorsement, stating she is “honored” to have the support of the group and its “millions of grassroots members all across the country.”
“This is a choice between freedom and socialism, individual liberty and big government, fiscal responsibility and spiraling debt. We have a country to save, and I’m grateful to have AFP Action by our side,” she said.
The DeSantis camp quickly criticized the endorsement, suggesting it actually benefits former President Trump.
“Congratulations to Donald Trump on securing the Koch endorsement. Like clockwork, the pro-open borders, pro-jail-break-bill establishment is lining up behind a moderate who has no mathematical pathway of defeating the former president,” said Andrew Romeo, DeSantis’ communications director.
“Every dollar spent on Nikki Haley’s candidacy should be reported as an in-kind to the Trump campaign. No one has a stronger record of beating the establishment than Ron DeSantis, and this time will be no different,” the DeSantis aide added.