Carly Fiorina officially blessed by Koch Brothers network

 Losing the 'Koch' Primary
IP: Losing the 'Koch' Primary_00001906

    JUST WATCHED

    Losing the 'Koch' Primary

MUST WATCH

Losing the 'Koch' Primary 00:37

Story highlights

  • Carly Fiorina has officially made the short-list of favorites of the Koch Brothers' powerful political network, solidifying her standing in the Republican fundraising race.
  • "Governor Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are leading a thoughtful and substantive discussion on the issues and we look forward to hearing more about their vision for the country," said James Davis, a Freedom Partners spokesman.

Washington (CNN)Carly Fiorina has officially made the short-list of 2016 favorites of the Koch Brothers' powerful political network, solidifying her standing in the Republican fundraising race.

The Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce -- which funds the sprawling constellation of conservative groups -- confirmed Wednesday it is now blessing Fiorina as one of its five candidates. It previously also backed Scott Walker before he dropped out last month.
"Governor Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are leading a thoughtful and substantive discussion on the issues and we look forward to hearing more about their vision for the country," said James Davis, a Freedom Partners spokesman.
    Fiorina's inclusion means that she is likely to earn more face time with the country's leading conservative financiers, many of whom can easily cut seven-figure checks to the candidates' allied super PACs. Fiorina earned a surprise invitation to the Kochs' biannual summit in California this past July, where she pushed back on criticism of the brothers' influence. Despite her ties to the network -- her campaign manager has worked for Koch groups -- she was not originally on their list of candidates this spring,
    And despite his reportedly poor performance at the Kochs' winter summit and then his later decision to skip the California meeting, Davis affirmed that Paul, who shares many of the libertarian sensibilities as Charles and David Koch, is still viewed favorably by the donors.
    Absent from the announcement: Prominent neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is not yet a supported candidate even though The Guardian reported Tuesday that Koch operatives now view him as "viable."