Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has dismissed the criticisms against him levied by billionaire donor Charles Koch. The GOP front-runner has declared that he does not need the Koch's backing because "I got my own money."
On a televised interview that aired April 24, Koch denounced the current crop of Republican candidates as not presidential.
“These personal attacks and pitting one person against the other — that’s the message you’re sending the country,” Koch told ABC News. “You’re role models and you’re terrible role models.
So how — I don’t know how we could support ‘em.”
On April 27, Trump responded to Koch’s harsh critique of how he has campaigned.
“I don’t say anything to him,” Trump told Breitbart. “I’ve always liked the Kochs. They’re members of my club in Palm Beach.”
Koch had slammed Trump’s proposal to place a travel ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and registering Americans who practice Islam as “reminiscent of Nazi Germany.”
Trump countered that he would not need the Kochs’ approval in a general election.
“What he says bears no relationship on what I do or say,” Trump said. “I don’t need his money. I got my own money… I disagree with them 100 percent on some of the things. He actually went so far to say he might back Hillary Clinton.”
Koch had signaled that backing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in a general election was a possibility, despite his deeply held libertarian views.
“We would have to believe her actions would be quite different than her rhetoric,” Koch said. “Let me put it that way.”
Trump stated that Koch, one of the most influential donors to the Republican party, “wouldn’t like me because I don’t need him, and I won’t do what he tells me to do, because I couldn’t care less.”
The Trump campaign has benefited significantly from free media attention, sparing the business mogul from having to raise as much money as his GOP competitors.
In the February and March primary contests, Trump only had to spend $5.38 per vote. That number was less than half of what his closest rival, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, had to spend per vote, according to the Washington Post.
The only candidate to spend even less in those months was Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who only spent $4.84 per vote.