Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders says the billionaire Koch brothers are 'greedy' and contribute to the 'corrupted' political system

  • Presidential hopeful slammed businessmen during South Carolina speech
  • Delighted crowd by saying the pair are destroying American democracy
  • Claimed it was because they are piling cash into election campaigns 
  • Called for publicly financed elections where 'anyone' could run 
  • He also picked up an endorsement from third-party candidate Deez Nuts 

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is making the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch the face of a 'corrupted' political and economic system that the Vermont senator wants to upend.

Sanders delighted a South Carolina rally of more than 3,000 people Saturday with his assertions that the Kochs and other 'greedy' billionaires are destroying American democracy by infusing huge sums of cash into campaigns and election.

The Vermont senator, who is pushing former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from the left, called for publicly financed elections that would allow 'anyone' to seek public office without 'begging from billionaires.'

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Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders slammed billionaire businessmen the Koch brothers for being 'greedy' and destroying American democracy by piling money into campaigns. He is pictured at an event in Clear Lake, Iowa, last week 

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders slammed billionaire businessmen the Koch brothers for being 'greedy' and destroying American democracy by piling money into campaigns. He is pictured at an event in Clear Lake, Iowa, last week 

And he pledged that his nominees to the Supreme Court would have to promise themselves that they would try to overturn the Citizens United decision that allows corporations, unions and wealthy individuals to spend unlimited sums in campaigns.

'We live in a nation in which a handful of very, very wealthy people have extraordinary power over our economy and our political life and the media,' Sanders told the boisterous crowd at a convention center near Charleston.

'They are very, very powerful and many of them are extremely greedy,' he continued. 'For the life of me, I will never understand how a family like the Koch brothers, worth $85 billion, apparently think that's not enough money.'

Sanders' remarks came on the same day that Americans for Prosperity, a conservative activists organization backed heavily by the Kochs, heard from several Republican White House hopefuls.

Sanders typically does not mention Clinton or any Republican candidates by name, but relishes telling his audiences that he stands out for refusing any support from Super PACs, the political committees that can accept the unlimited sums as long as they don't coordinate directly with candidates' principal campaign committees.

Sanders delighted a crowd in South Carolina by saying Charles (left) and David Koch (right) were contributing to a corrupted political and economic system 

He says he has more than 400,000 individual contributors who have chipped in an average of $31.20. 'This is a people's campaign,' he said in North Charleston.

The rally Saturday night concluded a two-day swing in South Carolina, which hosts the South's first primary, weeks after Iowa and New Hampshire start the nominating contest.

South Carolina is the first of the early voting states to feature a large number of African-American voters. Sanders and his aides have acknowledged that he must increase his support among African-Americans, here and nationally, if he hopes to turn his surprising momentum into a serious challenge against Clinton.

In each of his South Carolina stops, Sanders attempted to link his progressive agenda to concerns and challenges prevalent in the black community. He called for restoring sections of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court overturned and pledged to fight 'institutional racism,' with a particular focus on the criminal justice system.

He called special attention to the June massacre during which a white gunman killed nine members of a historic black church in Charleston, and he mentioned the killing of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black man who was shot and killed this spring by a white police officer in North Charleston. That officer has since been fired and charged with murder. 


As Bernie Sanders attracted another huge crowd to his rally on Saturday night. He received an unlikely endorsement from someone who, technically, is a rival.

Deez Nuts, a 15-year-old boy from Iowa who entered the presidential race (even though he cannot be President because of the constitution) backed him for the Democratic nomination.

The youngster considers himself an independent, and has been causing a stir with his surging poll results.  

He wrote on Facebook: 'Just gonna throw this out there now. This is not for the general election. My endorsement for the Democratic nomination goes to Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

'This is not for the general election, I endorse myself for the GE. For the Republican nomination, my endorsement goes to Ohio governor John Kasich.'