Allowing the Republican establishment to choose senate candidates represents a very bad idea, says Chris Chocola, president of the conservative Club for Growth.
There has been talk in GOP circles that the National Republican Senatorial Committee should play a bigger role in backing candidates during the primaries. The idea is to avoid candidates like Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, who lost their races earlier this month after offering controversial comments about rape and abortion.
“In the wake of some missed opportunities to pick up seats in the U.S. Senate over the last few cycles, one tactical change floated by the GOP establishment is that the party apparatus and its affiliated Super PACs should play a more influential role in primaries to make sure that more ‘electable’ candidates are nominated,” Chocola writes in The Kansas City Star
“It is hard to imagine a bigger mistake.”
Plenty of GOP establishment candidates lost this year, he points out: Denny Rehberg in Montana, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Heather Wilson in New Mexico, George Allen in Virginia, and Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin.
“Everyone wants to avoid the next Todd Akin or Christine O’Donnell [a 2010 loser in Delaware], neither of whom received any support from the Club for Growth PAC,” Chocola says. “But the Republican establishment has a horrendous track record of accurately identifying which candidates are truly unelectable and which are not. Too often, party insiders mistakenly substitute the word “unelectable” for the word ‘conservative.’”
The solution is for the Republican Party to back candidates who support limited government and economic freedom, “not candidates who simply adopt whatever positions make them the most ‘electable,’” Chocola writes.
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