Koch group president fires back at Reid

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips is taking exception to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) attacks on the Koch brothers, the conservative group's major benefactors.

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Phillips attacked Reid for his comments, which he revisited in a Tuesday floor speech, that billionaires Charles and David Koch were "un-American," comparing the attacks to McCarthyism.

"It's ironic to have someone like Harry Reid use the word 'un-American' about David and Charles Koch, because the Koch brothers, they create more prosperity for more Americans from more walks of life in a single year than a liberal politician like Harry Reid creates in a lifetime. And yet he has the gall to use the word 'un-American,' " Phillips told The Hill on Friday.

Phillips then sought to compare Reid's comments to former Sen. Joseph McCarthy's (R-Wis.) anti-communist pursuits in the 1950s, though he mixed up that McCarthy with former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.).

"It's frustrating to see an individual that's in leadership, the Senate majority leader for the Democrat party, to actually call someone like that — where's Eugene McCarthy when you need him? It's odd that the left doesn't rush to the barricades to decry this sort of attack," he said in an interview last Friday. "Is he going to start the un-American Affairs Committee? Does he really want to bring that committee back, the un-American Activities Committee?"

Americans for Prosperity has spent more than $30 million already on ads this election cycle attacking ObamaCare, far more than any other group. It has targeted a number of Democratic lawmakers facing tough reelections.

Reid took to the Senate floor last week to rip Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers specifically for their attacks, and doubled down on them on Tuesday.

"I guess if you make that much money, you can make these immoral decisions,” Reid said on Wednesday. "The Koch brothers are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine."

Reid attacked them once again in a Tuesday speech from the Senate floor.

"This is about two very wealthy brothers who intend to buy their own Congress," he said. "We may never know how much the Koch brothers spend to rig the system for themselves."

The remarks have stirred fury on the right — some GOP lawmakers have asked Reid to apologize — but he isn't backing down. Democrats are hoping to turn the Kochs into a bogeyman in races across the country, much like the GOP did with liberal mega-donor George Soros.

Phillips wouldn't discuss how much the Koch brothers are involved in his organization's day-to-day activities. But he slammed Democrats for celebrating their own super-PAC donors like Soros and Tom Steyer as heroes while attacking those on the right.

"It's hypocritical on the left to turn around and [say] every left-wing guy spending money is virtuous, they're doing it for the public good. But if someone on the right does it, it's a corporate interest, it's a greedy corporate interest. It's a bit of a double standard," he said.

—This post was updated at 2:50 p.m.