Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) reportedly apologized to the Chamber of Commerce after declaring that “a Chamber of Commerce Republican is not going to win a national election.”
Paul, according to a National Journal report, “sought a private audience with Tom Donohue, the longtime U.S. Chamber president, to offer a personal explanation and apology for his poor choice of words. Paul and his aides tried to set up such a meeting–to no avail. No agreeable time could be found.”
Eventually, one of Paul’s billionaire supporters convinced Donohue to accept Paul’s apology in person.
The Chamber of Commerce, though, reportedly did not take as much offense at Paul’s comments than Paul had thought because the organization reportedly appreciates “Paul’s push to broaden the GOP’s brand, especially among minority and young voters.”
Paul, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, has been trying to convince the financial and political establishments behind the scenes that he can win a national election if he wins the GOP nomination.
The Chamber of Commerce, which reportedly budgeted in excess of $50 million to destroy Tea Party candidates and push amnesty legislation, has been one of the top supporters of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Donohue even suggested that he hoped a lame-duck Congress could pass a comprehensive amnesty bill as its last act.
Many conservatives believe that moderate establishment and country club candidates favored by big-business interests such as the Chamber of Commerce will lose in national elections because they cannot clearly differentiate themselves from Democrats and unshackle themselves from Washington’s bipartisan permanent political class.
Conservative scholar and talk radio host Mark Levin emphatically hammered that point home earlier in the year, calling on Republicans to nominate a conservative candidate in 2016 that will give conservatives–and independent Americans who like leaders who stand for something–someone to enthusiastically vote for.
“We damn well better nominate a conservative in 2016 to save this country and save the Republican Party. We don’t have a lot of time left,” Levin said. “We cannot nominate another RINO, or we’re going to get our clocks cleaned again.”