Club for Growth Endorses Duncan in GOP Primary Battle For Renée Ellmers’ Seat

Jim Duncan
From the Club for Growth

The Club for Growth is endorsing a Republican primary challenger to Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina’s Second District. Its choice is Jim Duncan, a retired businessman.

President David McIntosh of Club for Growth, a free enterprise advocacy group, said regarding the endorsement of Duncan:

Jim Duncan is a principled constitutional conservative who will fight against the big-spending insiders in Washington. Jim has been active in local politics in North Carolina, and his own life experience has laid the foundation for his work to protect the American Dream through pro-growth policies that shrink the size and scope of government.

Jim Duncan will have to defeat Washington insider Renee Ellmers. She campaigned as a Tea Party candidate, but sided with Nancy Pelosi in reauthorizing the corrupt Export-Import Bank, and in supporting the wasteful trillion-dollar spending bills of 2014 and 2015. During her time in Washington, Ellmers has taken pride in following the lead of Speaker Boehner and the Republican leaders in Congress. She has an abysmal lifetime 61% voting record from the Club for Growth, having voted against conservative spending plans, and for budgets that break the spending caps. Ellmers’ constituents deserve better, and the Club for Growth PAC is proud to endorse Jim Duncan as the true economic conservative in this race.

The Club’s endorsement of Duncan comes after Frank Roche – a former economics professor who is again vying in the GOP primary for Ellmers’ seat – actually picked up 41 percent of the vote in the last election against Ellmers despite having hardly any financial resources.

Politico notes that the Club has contributed more than $10 million to candidates it endorsed in 2014. The organization assisted John Ratcliffe in his election to Congress over Republican incumbent Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas.

Roche tells Breitbart News he is disappointed that the Club endorsed Duncan.

“I met with the group in September,” he said. “The power of money wins again.”

“Duncan’s financial support for the Club and his ability to raise money at levels much higher than mine are likely the motivating factors,” he continued. “Interesting that a group focused on the macro-economy and growth would support a salesman with little knowledge of the economy and the transmission mechanisms from fiscal policy to Main Street over a trained economist, financial markets experts, and public policy expert with real experience with policy and economic outcomes.”

In August, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump referred to the Club in a Breitbart News exclusive interview as a “pack of thieves” in response to its attack against him for his proposal to penalize Ford Motor Company for building an auto manufacturing plant in Mexico rather than Tennessee.

“They [the Club for Growth] came to my office looking for money. I turned them down. That’s why they’re after me,” Trump told Breitbart News.

Roche said he suspects one of the reasons the nation has $18.6 trillion in debt is because knowledge and experience in Congress are often overlooked while the amount of money a candidate can raise is deemed most important.

“I can’t hide from my difficulty when it comes to raising money,” he acknowledges. “I continue to work to raise as much as possible and gain third party support. Even so, I am completely confident I am by far the best qualified candidate in the race to take on the serious economic challenges confronting Americans and argue for the best solutions. Duncan is an empty suit when it comes to policy.”

Unlike the Club, Roche has also never shied from coming out strongly against Ellmers’ manipulations against the pro-life base of the Republican Party. Last January, Ellmers succeeded in having a bill that would ban abortions past the 20th week of pregnancy pulled from the House floor on the eve of the March for Life in Washington, D.C. because of expressed concerns about obtaining votes from millennials. Her activity caused a serious firestorm against her from a base that has grown its influence as a result of its success with pro-life legislation in Washington and in the states.

In October, it was then discovered that Ellmers sent a flyer to her constituents, touting her vote for curbs on late-term abortions – after she led the takedown of the pro-life bill in January for political reasons.

“Rep. Ellmers is using taxpayer-funded mail to mislead the 2nd District yet again,” Roche said at the time. “Her supporters in Congress, including [House] Speaker [John] Boehner, seem to be doing all they can to help Renée recover from the terrible decision to block the pain-capable abortion bill in January of 2015.”

Roche is a strong believer in defunding Planned Parenthood.

“We have to go after the almost half a billion dollars that is funneled to Planned Parenthood… until you go after that, you’re really not doing the right thing,” he said.

Roche said if he were in Congress right now, he would be joining with other House conservatives in an aggressive and deliberate drive to redirect funding away from Planned Parenthood.

He added the shocking videos produced by Center for Medical Progress that exposed Planned Parenthood’s gruesome organ-trading business have had a huge impact.

“I can’t imagine anyone – even an honest Democrat – after seeing the videos and the dissection of fetuses, can any longer support the idea that Planned Parenthood is advocating for women’s health,” he said, noting that the House GOP’s leadership hasn’t wanted a budget fight over the abortion business.

“We even saw our leadership in Congress weaken under the idea that we can’t move ahead because President Obama is going to veto any legislation that will attempt to defund Planned Parenthood,” he observed.

“Fine. Let it play out,” Roche said. “The idea that he’s going to veto it should not be the basis for not moving forward, for not sending a powerful message.”

Regarding the Duncan endorsement by the Club, Roche says he wonders if the Club team knows Duncan will not participate in candidate forums or debates.

“He has declined several invitations,” he asserts. “Do they know he can’t answer policy questions along the campaign trail?  Do they know his campaign slogan is ‘show up and listen’?”


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