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Christie Defends Koch Brothers in CPAC Speech Christie Defends Koch Brothers in CPAC Speech

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Christie Defends Koch Brothers in CPAC Speech

The pugnacious New Jersey governor slammed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for attacking the "two entrepreneurs."

In his CPAC speech, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hit the Senate majority leader for vilifying the Koch brothers.(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie rose to the defense of the Democrats' favorite boogeymen, Charles and David Koch, on Thursday—even though he didn't mention them by name.

Near the top of his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference , Christie criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for "rail[ing] against two American entrepreneurs who have built a business, created jobs, and created wealth and philanthropy in this country," referring to the Koch brothers.

"Harry Reid should get back to work and stop picking on great Americans who are creating great things in our country," Christie said.

 

The Koch brothers have helped fund Americans for Prosperity, which has spent more than $30 million on ads attacking Democrats in the 2014 election cycle, and have been a frequent target of Reid recently. Earlier this week, Reid said on the Senate floor, "Senate Republicans are addicted to Koch."

Democrats have vilified for the Koch brothers for years, but Republican officeholders rarely mention them publicly, despite benefiting from their political spending. This election in particular, Democrats are hoping to turn the Koch brothers into a liability for the GOP. Just today, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a new online effort seeking to tie Republican candidates to the wealthy industrialists.

Aside from their vast network of advocacy groups, the Koch brothers have also been generous donors to the Republican Governors Association, which Christie chairs. David Koch contributed $1 million to the RGA in 2013 and $2 million during the 2012 election cycle. 

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