Davis Says Club for Growth Has Hurt GOP Nominees

Retiring Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) said that the Club for Growth, the anti-tax group, has helped reduce the number of Republican House members.

"We call it the Club for Democratic Growth," Davis said Wednesday on WAMU.

Davis made his remarks during a discussion over the Club's support for Republican House candidate Andy Harris in Maryland. The Club ran ads attacking Harris's GOP primary opponent, Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, for votes that would have led to tax increases. Harris is currently in a tight race with Democrat Frank Kratovil in a heavy Republican district. Kratovil leads Harris 48.9 percent to 48.6 percent, a 916 vote difference. More than 32,000 absentee ballots have yet to be counted.

Davis, a centrist Republican and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), said he could point to "half a dozen" GOP House candidates who were hurt by the Club for Growth's attacks this year.

UPDATE: Club for Growth President Pat Toomey dismissed Davis's suggestion that his group has hurt Republican candidates. He noted that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had far more money to spend on House candidates than its GOP counterparty.

"In the past two elections, House Republicans have lost 52 seats, including Tom Davis's own seat yesterday," he said in an e-mail. "This cycle, the NRCC was outspent by the DCCC nearly 4 to 1, while the Club for Growth PAC spent several million dollars defending Republican incumbents, challengers, and open-seat candidates

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