New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, Tea Party

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s new push to get involved in Republican primaries by defending incumbents against tea party challengers could actually make it easier to unseat them, according to the head of the influential Club for Growth.

Chris Chocola, the club’s president, said the battle between the chamber, which he said advocates big business, and the rank-and-file free-market conservatives whom his group represents is well underway as Republicans try to field their candidates for the 2014 congressional elections.

The latest fight is shaping up in Idaho, where the chamber announced this week that it will run ads defending incumbent Rep. Michael K. Simpson, a Republican, against a challenge by lawyer Bryan Smith. The club has endorsed Mr. Smith.

“The chamber is pro-business and we are pro-free market, and that is the difference,” Mr. Chocola told The Washington Times. “The opposing views are not new, but there seems to be some heightened interest from the establishment types to get involved in a race like Idaho. If that heightened interest continues there might be more chances that we end up on opposite sides.”

The fissures within the Republican Party began at the end of the Bush administration but have intensified in the wake of the 2012 elections, with groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s super PAC American Crossroads signaling that they plan to play a larger role in GOP primaries after watching tea party-backed candidates win the nomination but then lose to Democrats in general elections that analysts said were winnable. Examples are the 2010 U.S. Senate races in Nevada and Delaware.

7 Comments - what are your thoughts?

  • Lloydl333 says:

    Establishment Republicans need to take a chill pill and support the Tea Party Grass roots people of go and join the Democrat Party. Tat is what they are anyway. Hear me McConnell and McCain?

    1. SmallBizGuy says:

      McConnell and McCain should both retire. Thy have been in Washington toooooo long. We need new blood like Ted Cruz.

  • Charles Kimberl says:

    CofC doesn’t want to get in a fight that it will get it’s ass kicked in. The RINO’s infiltrated and took over our party like the left wing types did the same to the dumbacrats. It’s going to get interesting.

  • Buckeye8 says:

    One great thing about the repubs is when they can’t find anyone else to “HATE” they start hateing each other.

    1. BH says:

      Go back under your rock.

      1. Buckeye8 says:

        OMG you still can’t believe Homney Romney lost. We the 47% put him under a rock and he is still there.

  • GB says:

    Missed the Texas landslide against the incumbant huh? No one except you CoC expect 100% success. Tea is doing pretty well all told. A track record I think we can live with.

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