Foster Friess Promises to Recruit, Fund 2014 Congressional Candidates

Friess sees potential for Republicans to expand grassroots movement.


Wealthy conservative businessman Foster Friess says he wants to find--and fund--the conservative version of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama.

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Campaign reports show Foster Friess spent $2.5 million on the 2012 presidential election, but even months after Election Day Friess won't disclose how much he gave anonymously to nonprofits such as Crossroads GPS and others.

Friess, a wealthy businessman and conservative donor, is credited with keeping former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's candidacy alive longer than many expected.

And he is not done spreading his wealth.

"Whether it is a super PAC or not, I have been blessed with wealth, and I think I have responsibility to use it properly," Friess told a group of reporters during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast Friday.

Friess, a 72-year-old self-professed "political neophite," plans on dishing out a hefty amount of cash in the 2014 congressional campaign cycle.

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"I am not running," he joked when asked what his involvement in the races would be. But, Friess said, "I very, very much want to be involved in helping those senators, congressmen, and women who support the principles that made America great."

In 2014, Friess plans to have a special eye on the Senate and unrealized political talent.

"I am trying to find some [candidates] out of the woodwork," Friess says. "These old war horses have a disadvantage to a new face. Clinton came from out of nowhere, Obama came out from beyond nowhere, so I think the more we can find new and fresh faces, the better we'll be."

Friess, who says he doesn't buy into the argument that wealth disparity is a problem in the United States, is looking to support candidates who embody the entrepreneurial spirit.

"I want a guy who believes in America and the original and the traditional ideas that we create an opportunity society, and we let people's individual talents and eagerness to work determine where they wind up," he said.

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One major change Friess would like to see in future races is more GOP grassroots efforts. Friess says he is in awe of the Democratic machine and that he learned lessons from the 2012 campaign that he will use to help build a stronger grassroots effort in 2014 and onward. He wants more volunteers and campaign workers to cover more areas of the country.

"For Democrats this is a blood sport; for Republicans it is a hobby," Friess says. "That is why the Democrats run the government and the Republicans run the museums."

And on social issues, Friess seems to have evolved on a few. While he wouldn't come out in support of gay marriage, he did say that he has many gay friends and a gay brother-in-law who he thinks should be treated equally and protected from discrimination.

"We have to protect the gay people in this country from Sharia law," Friess told attendees.

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And while Santorum, a Catholic, repeatedly mentioned on the campaign trail that he was personally opposed to contraception, Friess says birth control practices are not a criterion for how he will pick which candidates to support.

"I have four kids. They are two years apart and contraception has been very, very good to me," Friess says. "How the Democrats got away with this [war on women] , I think, is another indication of a flaw of the Republicans. No one confronted that. ... The women were seduced that this was a war on women."

But as he prepares to invest big in upcoming congressional elections, don't expect Friess to abandon his main man in 2016.

"Rick Santorum has so much potential and so much eagerness to serve our country. He truly, truly loves his country," Friess says. "And on the national security front, Rick Santorum is superior to any candidate I know."

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