Chamber of Commerce to Play in Democrat Primaries

Washington, DC

While traditionally perceived as GOP-aligned, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been making it increasingly clear that it is no friend of the more populist wings of either major U.S. political party for some time and is now looking to begin playing in Democrat primaries, much as it has in Republican primaries in the past.

Presumably, pro-immigration politics and tax breaks for big business will guide its decision-making  more and more going forward – a move that will likely put it at odds with the more activist bases of both parties. That hard part for the Chamber may be being welcomed back into the GOP fold when it comes to presidential politics. Candidates aligning with them may have a difficult time selling the relationship to the base, representing but one more challenge for an increasingly divided GOP. The National Journal reports:

Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said at a press conference Wednesday that his political team will focus its energy in 2016 on electing candidates it thinks bring “competence and experience” to the legislating process, regardless of party affiliation.

“There could even be primaries on the Democratic side that we’d be interested in,” said Donohue. “We believe candidates matter more than anything else; we’re looking for people who want to govern.”

Earlier this year, the Chamber made it clear it has no interest in helping those advocating a genuinely more conservative approach to governing in Washington, with competence having little to do with it. The competence card appears to be little more than window dressing used to sell its pro-establishment, big government agenda. Any notion that the Chamber was reliably Republican was dispelled when it took its ball and went home after losing in last year’s Georgia primary. As Breitbart News noted:

Parti quotes Chamber of Commerce national political director Rob Engstrom from an interview he conducted with Politico’s Ken Vogel.

“We aggressively and proudly backed Jack Kingston during the [Republican] primary and during the [primary] runoff,” Engstrom said in the interview, on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program, which Vogel co-hosted. “We surveyed our members in state of Georgia, and their advice and counsel to us is that we stay neutral in this race. What we learned last time after the 2012 election was that sometimes we should be measured by what we don’t do.”

According to a new CNN poll, the race between Perdue and Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn is a statistical tie. The poll shows Nunn up 47 percent to 44 percent over Perdue, within its margin of error of 4 percent.

Additionally, as Breitbart News reported in September of 2014, the Chamber had no problem backing Democrats in the 2014 cycle, as long as they went along with its agenda. That it is now talking about getting involved in Democrat primaries should surprise no one. It’s simply a natural extension of what they’ve been doing for some time:

The business group that has been pushing for amnesty but that has often backed Republican candidates is throwing its support behind Democrats in several key House races this cycle.