Ballot Box

Club for Growth says it’s not done with Trump

John Boehner’s worst nightmare may soon be Donald Trump’s. 

Top officials at the influential free-market group Club for Growth are debating how far to escalate their attacks on Trump’s presidential candidacy. 

{mosads}Fresh from Club for Growth’s Twitter fight with Trump on Tuesday night, the group’s president, David McIntosh, wants to warn every conservative voter he can about the economic policies of the GOP front-runner. 

McIntosh says his members will not abide Trump’s views about taxes (“he wants to raise them”) or trade (“he wants to start a trade war with China and Mexico”). He also praised Jeb Bush’s recent attack video that exposes Trump’s history of liberal views. 

Asked how far he would go to destroy Trump’s candidacy, McIntosh would not rule out using Club for Growth’s super-PAC to blitz the billionaire during the lead up to the primaries.  

Such a move would be an unusually aggressive intervention in a GOP presidential primary, he said, citing as precedent the group’s 2008 efforts, when it spent heavily against Mike Huckabee for his record on taxes and spending as Arkansas governor. 

Club for Growth ran super-PAC ads this cycle to remind voters of Huckabee’s tax and spending record in Arkansas.

“A lot of our members tell me they think [Trump] will fizzle out and so we should save our money for the congressional races.” 

But others within the group’s 100,000-plus membership are encouraging Club for Growth to take Trump more seriously, McIntosh says.  

Club for Growth has a history of defeating more moderate Republicans in primary races, to the dismay of Speaker Boehner and establishment Republicans. 

The group played a key role in the Tea Party wave in 2010, which saw non-establishment Republicans such as Rand Paul, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee win Senate seats.

The group tends to get more involved in House and Senate races than presidential politics — during presidential primary season it mostly publishes white papers and research on candidates’ positions — but McIntosh believes the Trump phenomenon might require a different approach.

Tags Boehner Club for Growth Donald Trump John Boehner Mike Lee Rand Paul Ron Johnson
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video