The Club for Growth PAC joined the drip drip of establishment figures lining up behind presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, as he remains the closest alternative to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
“Ted Cruz is the best free-market, pro-growth, limited-government candidate in the presidential race,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh in a statement released Wednesday. He went on:
The Club’s PAC has never endorsed in a presidential race, but this year is different because there is a vast gulf between the two leading Republican candidates on matters of economic liberty. Their records make clear that Ted Cruz is a consistent conservative who will fight to shrink the federal footprint, while Donald Trump would seek to remake government in his desired image. That’s why the Club’s PAC is urging everyone in the conservative movement to join in this important campaign to elect Ted Cruz as President.
GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has fired shots at McIntosh, charging that the Club for Growth president with dismissing his candidacy for refusing to donate $1 million to the group. Trump called for McIntosh’s resignation from the Club for Growth leadership position last June. CFG spokesperson Doug Sachtleben shot back, “Trump asked for a meeting with the Club, and expressed interest in donating to our organization, so of course we responded,” in a statement to Breitbart News.
The Club for Growth has been criticized for supporting liberal Republicans like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), praised establishment darling Jeb Bush for his record as Florida’s governor, and failed to push back on amnesty and Obamacare.
Cruz has been lauded for his opposition to amnesty and Obamacare. There has been a slow buildup behind Cruz’s campaign, as establishment favorites like Bush legacy Jeb! and de-facto amnesty bill pushing Sen. Marco Rubio have dropped from the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Bush also endorsed Cruz Wednesday morning, the day after the Arizona and Utah primary contests. Trump won all of Arizona’s 58 delegates and Cruz took Utah’s 40 with an overwhelming near 70 per cent of the vote. Prominent establishment figure Sen. Lindsey Graham, who once joked of killing Cruz on the Senate floor without consequence, held a fundraiser for Cruz on Monday in the midst of AIPAC.
Rubio failed to succeed in his bid for the White House despite establishment endorsements like Gov. Nikki Haley and Rep. Trey Gowdy. With heavy establishment backing in states like South Carolina, Rubio still failed to secure a win in that state. Even after failed 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney recorded robocalls for Rubio to run in his home state of Florida, the junior senator failed to succeed there. Trump took a strong position over Rubio in the March 15 Florida primary. Haley has since stated support, but stopped short of an official endorsement, for Cruz.
Aversion to Trump has driven establishment and conservative figures alike to push for a competitive alternative. That has led several establishment figures and entities to push for the constitutional conservative they may never have imagined pushing before he became the only viable Trump alternative. Even Romney waited until days before his home state of Utah’s primary to make a half-hearted Twitter announcement that he would vote for Cruz. Romney’s lack of enthusiasm was displayed in the remark, “I think a lot of people were surprised by how well Ted Cruz did.” Cruz did not even utilize the failed 2012 nominee’s assistance going into the March 15 pivotal primary elections despite Romney’s highly publicized anti-Trump speech and the former Massachusetts’ governor’s stumping for the other two remaining candidates at the time, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Rubio.
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