ABC News' Amy Walter reports:
The Club for Growth is well-known for taking on establishment Republicans who they feel don’t live up to the Club’s “pro-growth” ideals such as “limited government, low taxes and economic freedom.”
In 2010, for example, the Club for Growth ran ads attacking Sen. Robert Bennett for his vote for TARP and his support for “billions in government spending” (R-UT). Bennett ultimately lost the GOP nomination to Mike Lee.
This year, Club for Growth President and former Indiana Republican Rep. Chris Chocola warns longtime Senator and top Tea Party target Dick Lugar (R-IN) that it may be best for him to leave Congress than to stay and face what is shaping up to be a serious primary battle. Chocola told ABC’s “Top Line” this afternoon, that “we do have some concerns about Senator Lugar and his service. We think it would be probably best if he would retire at this point.”
Chocola also didn’t rule out getting involved in primary contests against Republican Senators Orrin Hatch (UT) and Olympia Snowe (ME). “Both of those are on our radar as well, “ said Chocola. “We look for people that stand up for and vote a pro-growth agenda. And we look at the history, not what candidates or incumbents are saying today but what really what their long term history has been,” said Chocola. Notably, both Snowe and Hatch (and Lugar for that matter) voted for TARP in 2008. Hatch has since apologized for the vote, telling conservatives gathered for the CPAC conference this February in Washington, DC, that “I probably made a mistake voting for it. I don’t think I make many mistakes in the Congress over the years, but I think if you look at the record, you’ll know that.”