Politics & Policy

The Club for Growth Hasn’t Endorsed for President, but This Year Is Different

(Gerardo Mora/Getty)

The Club for Growth PAC has made its first-ever endorsement in a presidential primary. Our endorsement goes to Texas senator Ted Cruz.

This is an easy call. There is no question that Ted Cruz is a strong proponent of free-market, limited government, pro-economic growth policies. That’s his record, and those principles are deeply embedded in his proposals. The Club for Growth PAC proudly supported his U.S. Senate candidacy in 2012, and we are proud to support the Cruz presidential candidacy now.

There were other strong pro-growth candidates in the race, including Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Because voters had multiple good options, we refrained from an endorsement. Now, with the field as it is today, Ted Cruz stands head and shoulders above the rest, and we are pleased to stand with him. We have no doubt that America will be exceptionally well served if he is elected president.

The Club’s PAC has had preferences in previous presidential campaigns, but has never endorsed. The gap within the Republican presidential field between pro-growth and anti-growth candidates was never so wide that we felt compelled to do so. Our focus, as it continues to be this year, has been on endorsing economic conservatives for House and Senate races.

But, this year is different.

Donald Trump is an unmitigated disaster on economic policy. From his past support for giant tax increases, to his current support for health-care mandates, massive trade barriers, and eminent-domain abuse, Trump is the single worst Republican presidential candidate in modern times. His foolish refusal to even consider reforming unsustainable entitlement programs would be fiscally devastating, and would bankrupt America — something he has experience in. In fact, it is hard to clearly distinguish between Trump’s economic policies and those of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

#share#The Club for Growth PAC has actively supported dozens of Republican candidates who are now members of Congress. Those include stars of the conservative movement, such as Senators Rubio, Paul, Tim Scott, Ben Sasse, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, and Tom Cotton, and going back further, Senators Tom Coburn and Jim DeMint. In fact, over the last decade, no other organization has raised more money for current Republican members of Congress than the Club’s PAC.

And here’s a key distinction about nearly all of those races: The Club’s PAC stands with pro-growth economic conservatives who face off against liberal and moderate, anti-growth Republicans and Democrats. There is no place for a Club PAC endorsement when the Republican candidate has no particular devotion to free-market principles. In that case, there is no reason to support one economic disaster over another. That would surely be the case if Trump became the Republican nominee.

#related#Equally clear is the enormous volume of polling which shows that Clinton would crush Trump in November. Even in conservative states like Utah, polls show Hillary beating Trump. If that happens, Hillary will be picking the next Supreme Court justices.

Ted Cruz has a path to the nomination and to the White House, especially once Republicans consolidate around him as the one candidate who can lead the party to victory, grounded in the constitutional conservative principles the GOP has always stood for.

So Club for Growth’s PAC will do whatever it can to promote Ted Cruz’s candidacy. He is a true champion of economic freedom, and we urge everyone in the conservative movement to join in this most important campaign.

— David McIntosh is the president of the Club for Growth and a former congressman from Indiana.

David McIntosh is the president of the Club for Growth and a former congressman from Indiana.

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