by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Brendan Bordelon reports for National Review Online on the Club for Growth’s reaction to the declared presidential campaigns of first-term U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio.
In reports released on Thursday, the influential conservative advocacy group lavishes praise on Rand Paul, and gives high marks to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, for their strong support of free-market policies. But quibbles over tax plans, green-energy subsidies, and political endorsements mean all three still face scrutiny from the Club’s big-money donors — and their similar economic viewpoints may make it difficult for supply-siders to decide which one to support.
Every election cycle, the Club for Growth releases detailed evaluations of each GOP hopeful’s economic record. As a big-time campaign bundler and the nation’s top enforcer of Republican loyalty to a low-tax, low-regulation agenda, the Club steers millions in political contributions to candidates it believes will push pro-growth policies and keep the party honest. A high grade on a Club for Growth white paper can fill a campaign’s coffers, while a low one can send candidates packing.
“The members love [the white papers],” Club for Growth president David McIntosh tells National Review. He says that many of the Club’s well-heeled backers often reconsider donating to a candidate after perusing his or her economic record. …
… That favorite-son status stood out in the Club’s white papers, with all three senators earning grades above 90 percent for their small-government stands on taxes, spending, entitlements, regulation, and free trade. “My members are telling me, ‘Well, we’ve got a lot of ‘our guys’ getting ready to run,’” McIntosh says.
A John Locke Foundation audience had an opportunity earlier this week to take a closer look at Cruz.