Chamber of Commerce vs. Conservatism: Indiana Senate Primary Pits Marlin Stutzman’s Grassroots Values Against Establishment-Backed Todd Young

Indiana Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Marlin Stutzman speaks during a debate with opponent Todd Young in Indianapolis, Monday, April 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
AP Photos / Michael Conroy

Two Congressmen elected in the Tea Party wave election of 2010 are battling to be the Republican nominee for the US Senate in Indiana.

Congressman Marlin Stutzman and Congressman Todd Young have taken two very different courses since joining the House of Representatives nearly six years ago. Congressman Stutzman has been a standout member of conservative Congressman Jim Jordan’s House Freedom Caucus and is endorsed by bulwark conservatives like Senator Rand Paul and Senator Mike Lee. Congressman Young, on the other hand, is part of the “No Labels” group and is being supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the amnesty-pushing US Chamber of Commerce.

Voters in Indiana will not only choose between business mogul Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz Tuesday; they’ll be the deciding factor in the next big battle in the ongoing war between the grassroots and the establishment.

“I was in the Indiana legislature and was a conservative there,” Congessman Stutzman told Breitbart News on Friday. “When I got to DC, I just saw that the system is broken there and Republican leadership and John Boehner said we were going to fight and we never did. Todd Young is trying to run as this ‘effective conservative’, that he is getting things done in Washington, and he’s not…. We’ve not put a stop to Obama hardly at all.”

Congressman Stutzman isn’t taking sides in the battle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. He likes both candidates and is happy that the presidential race has boiled down to two outsiders. “I’m not taking sides, I like both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz,” he said. “I think both of them are outsiders and I think it’s great that out of seventeen candidates that the two who are left are really outsiders.

“Cruz is an outsider who is already in Washington fighting the good fight and what Trump has brought to the table and the dialogue in his campaign has been needed for a long time. I’m going to support the nominee and it better be one of those two. I will not support our party trying to pull a candidate out who hasn’t run, it has to be either Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.”

Congressman Stutzman’s fight for the grassroots has not come without a cost. Congressman Young has received huge financial backing from the political establishment, and they have spent big money attacking Congressman Stutzman. “It’s boiling down to be a race against grassroots conservatives and the establishment,” Stutzman said.

At this point in time Mitch McConnell has jumped into the race with his Super PAC, Senate Leadership Fund. Also Chamber of Commerce has jumped into the race for my opponent. They’ve dumped in close to two and half million dollars in paid advertising for Todd and we’ve been out working hard with grassroots organizers all over the state that are squarely in my corner. The people are very upset with Washington DC and what’s been happening in Washington. They see the differences between my record and Todd Young’s record. One for example is Common Core, Todd Young voted for the extension of no child left behind, I voted against it. We have a difference of opinion on the budget, he’s voted for raising the debt ceiling and I’ve voted against debt ceiling increases. This is a distinct race between grassroots conservatives and the Washington establishment.

When asked why the Chamber of Commerce is supporting Congressman Young instead of him, Congressman Stutzman told Breitbart News, “I do not support amnesty, I mean I just don’t. In Indiana we’re seeing wages that are flat and you can’t reward an illegal act with citizenship.

“That’s why I think building the wall and securing the border is so critical, because it’s affecting jobs in this country — along with the trade deals that we’re seeing are negatively effecting jobs in our country as well. I’m for trade, but there have to be benefits to the United States rather than giving away our competitive advantages.”

Stutzman continued: I’ve not been supportive of some of the Chamber of Commerce’s bills that prop up corporate interests around not only our country but around other parts of the world, where they want to spend tax payer dollars that are going to benefit large corporations that are their members and it doesn’t do anything for small business. I come from a small business background and I want to make sure that small business has a level playing field in this country and we’re seeing that the Chamber of Commerce is looking out for their own interests. They also have supported amnesty programs, we just released an audio clip of Todd Young saying that amnesty is actually a cheaper route to go. So there is a difference on immigration, there is a difference between us on the amount of money that is spent on corporate welfare. I’m a small business guy and I see the corporate cronyism going on in Washington, Todd doesn’t see it and if he does see it he’s participating in it.


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