Billionaire Charles Koch responded to scathing attacks made by Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) in 2014 against him and his brother David, saying he wouldn't be "scared off" but Reid's "dishonest" attempts to destroy private citizens were "frightening for the future of the country."
"What kind of personal impact did that have on you and your family, and were you shocked by the level of vitriol?" MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked in an interview that aired Tuesday.
"People aren't going to scare me off," Koch said. "I mean, I've been doing this for 50 years. Politics ... for 12 years. I'm kind of like Martin Luther when he was on trial, and he said, 'Here I stand, I can do no other.' I dedicate my life to this. These ideas, the ideas we've been talking about, transformed my life, and so it's my mission--I feel a moral obligation to help other people learn these and transform their lives.
"But it's frightening for the future of the country to have these public officials try to hurt and destroy private citizens who oppose what they're doing, rather than have a conversation and maybe find, as we've done with the White House, find areas where we can work together on to make the country better instead of this vitriol and these dishonest attacks."
Then the Senate Majority Leader, Reid consistently leveled vitriolic attacks against the Koch brothers in 2014, at one point calling them "un-American" and accusing them of trying to "buy America." The brothers made considerable donations to Republican candidates who opposed Obamacare and other Democratic agenda items that year. This was in addition to their philanthropic efforts, like a $100 million donation to a New York hospital that inspired huge liberal protests because it was Koch money.
Scarborough and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski also delved into Koch's political philosophy and his thoughts on the 2016 GOP candidates, none of whom he seemed willing to endorse yet.