FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe tried to clear up some of the criticism surrounding his tea party group during a visit to The Daily Caller Thursday.
Kibbe sat down with TheDC to discuss his new book, “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto.” During the first part of the interview, he described what he believes a more-libertarian America would look like.
In this segment of the interview, Kibbe answers some of the allegations that have been leveled against him and his group.
There has been some concern about how tea party groups are spending their money, with certain tea party groups reportedly spending most of what they bring in on staff salaries and other non-campaign related activities. When former FreedomWorks head Dick Armey acrimoniously parted from the organization in 2012, he claimed Kibbe was using FreedomWorks resources to write and promote his book. At the time the allegation was made public, Kibbe claimed that he wrote the book on his own time over his Christmas vacation.
When Kibbe’s most recent book was released earlier this month, it debuted at number two on the New York Times best seller list. The next week, it dropped off the list entirely, raising the question: Did FreedomWorks use donor money to make Kibbe’s book a bestseller on its release? In the interview, Kibbe claimed to TheDC that FreedomWorks did not buy a bulk order of the book and that he knows of no person or group that did.
Another question surrounding FreedomWorks is whether the group remains financially sound. BuzzFeed reported last year that FreedomWorks was in financial straits and that it had to take out a $1,000,000 line of credit. Kibbe claimed to TheDC that the BuzzFeed story, which also reported that FreedomWorks continued to spend lavishly despite its alleged financial problems, was entirely false.
Questions have also be raised about FreedomWorks’ relationship with Glenn Beck. Beck revealed last year that he intervened in 2012 to help Kibbe win the internal FreedomWorks battle against Dick Armey. Considering FreedomWorks allegedly gives Beck’s media empire around $1,000,000 a year to promote the organization, the whole relationship appeared a bit too cozy to some, especially since Armey reportedly opposed the expenditure. But Kibbe argued in his interview with TheDC that there is nothing at all unseemly about the financial relationship between FreedomWorks and Beck.
In the interview, Kibbe also explained why his organization switched its endorsement from Shane Osborne to Ben Sasse in the Nebraska Republican Senate primary and what he thinks are the greatest misconceptions about FreedomWorks.