The fiscally conservative Club for Growth, which opposed President Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy in 2016, may move over to Trump’s side in the 2020 presidential race.
“We’re looking seriously at getting involved in (2020) to support Trump. My board has not made that call, but it’s starting that discussion of what we should be doing,” Club for Growth president David McIntosh told the Washington Examiner.
In 2016, the group said Trump was a liberal Democrat in disguise, while Trump said all the club wanted from him was a large donation. But now, the tax cut bill Trump championed has made a major impact in altering the group’s perspective.
“Voters are always interested in: ‘What are you going to do for me next,’” McIntosh said. “The tax cut issue was the No. 1 issue in Republican suburbs.”
Although last Tuesday’s elections were a mixed bag for the GOP, the Club for Growth said its political support of conservative candidates produced the “best two-year cycle ever.”
“The squishy members who lost their races were the ones that didn’t embrace that conservative agenda” -@DavidMMcintosh. Read full article here—> Midterm results: Conservatives join Trump in blaming House moderates https://t.co/9G0Bdcej50
— Club for Growth (@club4growth) November 8, 2018
“The squishy members who lost their races were the ones that didn’t embrace that conservative agenda,” McIntosh said at a news conference after the extent of GOP losses in the House became clear, USA Today reported.
One of its victories came in Texas, where incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz held off Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke.
“We thought he’d win by four or five (points). … It was a little bit lower than we thought,” McIntosh said. “That was driven by Beto, his personality, his campaign approach … He was able to get young people and new voters to the polls.”
Although the group may end up supporting Trump, it also continues to nudge his administration in the policy directions it favors.
For example, in October, it issued a statement calling for capital gains to be indexed to inflation.
“The economy is strong, but it has recently encountered some formidable headwinds. In order to reinvigorate the economy and make it even stronger, we recommend that President Trump immediately sign an executive order to index capital gains to inflation. As it stands now, this is a grave injustice in the tax code, forcing people to pay taxes on phantom gains,” the statement said.
“Just as important, an executive order would unlock hundreds of billions of dollars in capital that would spur new investment and jobs. It would also immediately grow the savings of everyday working Americans. With just his signature, President Trump can give all Americans something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.”
In a recent Op-Ed in the National Review, McIntosh summarized the Club for Growth’s political mantra.
“Historically, Republicans have been politically successful when they have lived up to their limited-government platform. This was true at the beginning of the 20th century, and it was true at the end of the 20th century, exemplified by the Reagan years and the 1994 Republican revolution,” he wrote, citing former President Ronald Reagan, who “warned of the dangers of big government and believed in the power of the free market to lift up people no matter where they lived and where they came from.”
“Club for Growth’s purpose is to identify, and through its PAC elect and support, the next generation of leaders who will champion the 21st-century platform grounded in those same principles of liberty. And the results speak for themselves,” he wrote.
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