CBS's Dickerson to RNC Chair: Are GOPers 'Puppets' of Koch Brothers?

As RNC chairman Reince Priebus appeared as a guest on Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS host John Dickerson -- using a comment from GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump about not wanting to be a "puppet" for Republican donors -- asked the RNC chairman if Republicans like Mike Pence, Scott Walker and Paul Ryan are "puppets" for the conservative Koch brothers.

The CBS host posed the question:

Let me ask you about something else Mr. Trump said recently. He said he wouldn't meet with the conservative donors -- the Koch brothers -- because that would make him a quote, unquote, "puppet." But House Speaker Paul Ryan's meeting with them. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is meeting with them. And Mike Pence has a strong relationship with the Koch brothers. So are they all puppets?

After Priebus theorized that Trump's remarks might be indicative of "bruises" that "take time to heal," and recalled his good relationship with several conservative donors and political groups, Dickerson followed up:

On the broader question, though, Mr. Trump at almost every rally talks about those who receive money from special interests as being puppets of the donors. He's talked about himself playing that role as the puppet master when he's given money. A lot of Republicans receive money -- as, of course, Democrats do. Hillary Clinton receives a lot of it. But are Republicans puppets because they receive money from special interests?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, July 31, Face the Nation on CBS:

JOHN DICKERSON: Let me ask you about something else Mr. Trump said recently. He said he wouldn't meet with the conservative donors -- the Koch brothers -- because that would make him a quote, unquote, "puppet." But House Speaker Paul Ryan's meeting with them. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is meeting with them. And Mike Pence has a strong relationship with the Koch brothers. So are they all puppets?

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: Well, look, I didn't hear that quote. I'm not questioning your comments, but, look, I've had a good relationship with Charles and David. I've had a good relationship with Americans for Prosperity. I've had a good relationship with many of the donors that helped them. I think we're a big family, and I think some of these bruises take time to heal. I think, in the end, we actually are going to be together at the table working together once we get through this month and next month. I think in the end we're all going to come together, and I think some of these things are just a lot of bruises that take time to heal.

DICKERSON: On the broader question, though, Mr. Trump at almost every rally talks about those who receive money from special interests as being puppets of the donors. He's talked about himself playing that role as the puppet master when he's given money. A lot of Republicans receive money -- as, of course, Democrats do. Hillary Clinton receives a lot of it. But are Republicans puppets because they receive money from special interests?

NBDaily Campaign Watch 2016 Presidential Campaign Financing Conservatives & Republicans CBS Face the Nation Video Paul Ryan Scott Walker Charles Koch David Koch John Dickerson Donald Trump Reince Priebus


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