According to Politico, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida offered an early glimpse of the GOP presidential primary debates at a forum Sunday in front of hundreds of donors affiliated with the Koch network.
They mainly focused their economic attacks on President Barack Obama while showcasing their own differences on foreign policy.
The three 2016 Republican presidential contenders laid out their arguments on issues such as the minimum wage, income inequality, tax reform and relations with Cuba at a resort in Palm Springs, California during the American Recovery Policy Forum, which was organized by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce.
The group oversees the political operation created by the billionaire industrialist megadonors Charles and David Koch.
The forum was moderated by ABC’s Jonathan Karl and was part of the annual winter meeting of the Kochs’ political operation. It was live-streamed to the media, giving the public a first-time peek into the usually secretive event.
Chron.com: “Cruz and his rivals, seated in couches and free from the clamor of a presidential debate, discussed Cuba policy, the need for a minimum wage and the successes and failures of Mitt Romney in a low-key back-and-forth in California. The trio sparred a bit over the need for the GOP to address income inequality, with Cruz saying it remained obvious that the widening gap demanded attention.”
The Washington Post: “The panel, moderated by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, took place at a private meeting of wealthy donors hosted by Freedom Partners, a tax-exempt group that serves as the hub of a political network supported by Charles and David Koch and other conservative financiers. In a first, the organization shared a live Web stream of the event with news organizations.”
Oddly, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell seemed to shut down the debate on the Keystone XL and wrap up business in order to make time for the Koch meeting in California.