Donald Trump Hit by Club for Growth Ad Before Utah Caucus

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Club for Growth, which was described by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump as “a pack of thieves,” released a new anti-Trump TV-ad that began running in Utah Thursday.

The ad appears before Republicans gather in caucuses next Tuesday to allocate the state’s 40 delegates to the Republican National Convention. Sen. Ted Cruz is favored to win those caucuses, and may even surpass the 50-percent majority needed to win all 40 of the state’s delegates.

Arizona will conduct a winner-take-all primary on the same day. A recent poll indicates that Trump is favored to win all 58 of that state’s delegates.

“Donald Trump has repeatedly reaffirmed his support for a health care mandate and for government-run health care, and the Club for Growth will continue to urge people to tell Trump that he’s wrong on this issue,” Club for Growth president David McIntosh said in a statement accompanying the attack-ad.

Here’s the full transcript of the ad, titled “Some People.”

Narrator: Some people think government-run, taxpayer-paid health care is a disaster. And some don’t.
Video of Hillary Clinton: So we will have quality, affordable health care for every American.
Video of CBS Anchor Scott Pelley: Universal health care?

Video of Donald Trump: I am going to take care of everybody.

Video of Pelley: Who pays for it?

Video of Trump: The government’s going to pay for it.

Narrator: Ask Donald Trump why he sides with Hillary Clinton, and why he wants more government health care.

Late Thursday, the Club for Growth removed the ad from YouTube. It was not immediately clear if it is still running on television stations in Utah. 

“Club for Growth is the group that came to Mr. Trump’s office seeking $1 million dollars. He told them no and now they are doing negative ads,” Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks tells Breitbart News in an emailed statement.

“After their failed shakedown attempt, it’s no surprise they have resorted to attacking the frontrunner. Club for Growth is the worst of the two faced hypocrisy in Washington, D.C.,” Hicks adds.

On Thursday, former Utah governor and Romney ally Mike Leavitt endorsed Ohio Governor John Kasich for the GOP presidential nomination. Kasich is campaigning heavily in the state, and will appear at several town halls on Friday.

Last week Sen. Mike Lee , the state’s junior senator, endorsed Cruz.

Cruz plans to make a campaign stop in Utah on Saturday.

So far the Trump campaign has made no announcement that Trump plans to visit the state prior to the caucuses next Tuesday. That silence is evidence that the GOP frontrunner may want to focus on winning next Tuesday’s winner-take-all primary in Arizona.

On Wednesday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported:

There’s no indication front-runner Donald Trump will visit the state after he helped nix the presidential debate planned for Monday, or that he is seriously vying for any of Utah’s 40 delegates. That leaves his two challengers — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — to vie for support in the Beehive State.

There is little love lost between Donald Trump and the Club for Growth.

“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 in an exclusive interview after an August rally in Nashville. “They’re a pack of thieves,” Trump said.

As for whether Trump will visit Utah prior to the caucuses on Tuesday, the Trump campaign is leaving its options open. “Mr. Trump’s schedule will be released in the near future,” Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told Breitbart News in a statement emailed late Thursday afternoon in response to a specific question on whether the campaign will hold on event in Utah prior to the caucuses.


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