Charles and David Koch fired back at Obama after his campaign attacked them in an email earlier this week.
Philip Ellender, president of government and public affairs for Koch industries, posted an open letter to Obama campaign manager Jim Messina online Friday. The letter was a response to an attempt by the Obama campaign to tie Republican rival Mitt Romney to the Koch brothers.
Ellender called the Obama email "iresponsible and misleading" and said it was "surprising and disappointing that the President would allow" such behavior:
This is not the first time that the President and his Administration have engaged in this sort of disturbing behavior. As far back as August, 2010, Austan Goolsbee, then the President’s chief economic advisor, made public comments concerning Koch’s tax status and falsely stated that the company did not pay income tax, which triggered a federal investigation into Mr. Goolsbee’s conduct that potentially implicated federal law against improper disclosure of taxpayer information. Last June, your colleagues sent fundraising letters disparaging us as “plotting oil men” bent on “misleading people” with “disinformation” in order to “smear” the President’s record. Those accusations were baseless and were made at the very same time the president was publicly calling for a more “civil conversation” in the country.
It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be “tired of hearing” that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint. Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.
This isn't the first time the Koch brothers have taken action against Obama. In early February, the two made a pledge with about 250-300 other individuals to spend approximately $100 million to defeat Obama this November.