Centrist group launches anti-Tea Party campaign

Main Street Advocacy, a group launched by former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) to back centrist candidates, launched a new ad targeting conservative groups and featuring some of the failed Senate candidates they've backed in previous cycles.

The ad highlights the "Senate candidates hall of shame," which includes failed Republican Senate candidates Todd Akin in Missouri, Christine O'Donnell in Delaware, Richard Mourdock in Indiana, Ken Buck in Colorado and Sharron Angle in Nevada.

All drew Tea Party support, and all were derailed because of controversial comments the candidates made on the trail — ranging from Akin's declaration that "the female body has ways to try to shut" down pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape" to O'Donnell's ad in which she declared she's not a witch.

The ad includes clips of both Akin and O'Donnell, as well as Mourdock describing pregnancies due to rape as "something God intended to happen."

"The time to act is now. Help us fight to protect Main Street," a narrator says, as the screen shows the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the Tea Party hit with a "defund" stamp.

The ad is part of an $8 million campaign pushing back against Tea Party groups that engage in primaries.

It's the latest development in an ongoing civil war between two factions of the GOP, with the establishment and business-backed wing of the party pledging to stand up to these conservative groups in 2014 and beyond.

Establishment actors have begun to speak out against the groups, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) campaign repeatedly characterizing some of the groups as the reason Democrats still hold control of the Senate.

LaTourette echoed that accusation and said the conservative groups must be stopped.

"The far right’s attempts to purge the GOP of people they find to be ‘imperfect’ need to stop," he said.

"We didn't start this war, for years now, groups like the Club for Growth and their allies have waged a vicious intra-party civil war that has cost the Republican Party control of the U.S. Senate," continued LaTourette.  

"For the first time, there will be a group representing the governing wing of the Republican Party that will not only defend itself, but also push back." 

Watch the ad:

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