WASHINGTON -- Real estate mogul Donald Trump is facing his first negative ad campaign from an outside group, rather than one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.
On Tuesday, the hardline economic conservative group Club for Growth announced it was placing more than $1 million behind two 30-second television ads that attack Trump's record. The ads are slated to go on air later this week in the early caucus state of Iowa.
“Donald Trump is the worst Republican candidate on economic issues,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said in a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “It’s astonishing that he’s even running as a Republican. Trump is the most liberal candidate on fiscal policy in the whole field, with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders."
One of the ads highlights Trump's previous liberal positions and, contrary to the businessman's positioning as an outsider candidate who will bring real change to Washington, allege that he is "just another politician."
"He's really just playing us for chumps," the narrator in the ad concludes.
In the second ad, Club for Growth goes after Trump by noting his support for Kelo v. City of New London, a 2005 Supreme Court decision that ruled in favor of eminent domain.
"Trump supports eminent domain abuse because he can make millions, while we lose our property rights. Trump -- the worst kind of politician," says the narrator in the ad.
The insinuation here is, interestingly, that Trump is a wealthy elitist who doesn't support the little guy. In fact, Trump has taken on a populist tone in recent days by vowing to tax capital gains and speaking out against hedge fund managers and egregious CEO pay -- worrying rhetoric for the business interests financing the Club for Growth.
This isn't the first time the club has tangled with the current GOP presidential front-runner. After the group urged Trump's exclusion from the presidential debates in June, the businessman revealed that it had previously asked him for a donation of $1 million.
Trump responded to the ads on Twitter, describing the group as "little respected":
Watch one of the ads above.
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