This Boy Wonder Is Building the Conservative in an Illinois Garage

May 10, 2015


Charlie Kirk was just about to leave the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa when he spotted the multimillionaire investor Foster Friess in a stairwell. Kirk, who was 18 and fresh out of high school, had spent weeks memorizing the names and faces of the top 25 Republican political donors in case he found himself in just such a situation. He grabbed Friess into a handshake, took a nervous breath, and began his elevator pitch. Instead of going to college, he wanted to start a grass-roots organization to rival liberal groups such as, which offer Democratic candidates a standing army of volunteer activists. All he needed, Kirk told Friess, was cash. Friess, who’d just blown $2.1 million on a failed quest to help Rick Santorum win the GOP presidential nomination, handed over his business card. Three weeks later, Kirk had a five-figure check. “He impressed me with his capacity to lead, intelligence, and love for America,” Friess says. “I instantly knew I wanted to support him.”

In the three years since, Kirk—who still sleeps in his childhood bedroom in Wheeling, Ill.—has built his organization, Turning Point USA, into the go-to group for reaching young conservatives. It has a presence on 800 college campuses, where fieldworkers hand out posters and collect e-mail addresses. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in February, the group hosted an event featuring Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, who have each since announced they’re running for president. On May 8, Paul was scheduled to speak at a Turning Point rally at Arizona State University, and Carly Fiorina is on deck to speak in June at a Turning Point conference for women in Chicago. Kirk says he’s met candidate Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is considering a presidential run.

  • doomsdae

    Wow, good for him. We need more young people to get involved in the conservative movement.

  • swann2001 is a fully funded by Billionaire George Soros Communist Front Group even though they will tell you they get no Corporate Funding I guess you might say they lie. Because this is just one of the many front groups George Soros either started or supports, another is MediaMatters. It is ironic is it not that the left rails against Billionaires but supports anything billionaire Communist George Soros wants done. Why is that? Many Americans who think of themselves as being Patriotic continue to support left wing so called Progressive candidates like Hilary Clinton. She is a Socialist from way back and I believe most responsible for selling out this Country to Communist Red China. Before the Clinton’s almost everything was proudly “Made in America” after 8 years of the Clinton’s almost everything was “Made in China”. I remember Clinton’s speech when he said we were moving to a Service Economy, maybe he should have said Servant Economy, slaves to our new Communist masters in Beijing. I also remember just prior to 9/11 that Bill Clinton gave a speech saying we no longer needed human intelligence because our satellites are so sophisticated that we could see everything from space. What satellite can look into the human heart? What satellite can detect when or where a terrorist might strike, or see people conspiring to destroy this Country from within?
    I pray that millions of young men and women ignore the propaganda that is being spread by today’s so called college Professors who want to blame this Country for all the world’s problems. No other Country in the world has done so much to make the world a better place, to feed more people, to offer hope to more people, so what makes us the bad guys to all the liberal College Professors? Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

    • CantBPC Anymore

      So well said.

  • KentS

    God bless Charlie Kirk; carry on boy wonder.


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