GOP Primaries: Club For Growth President Warns Of Big 'Mistake'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives on stage on election night November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts, m
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives on stage on election night November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts, moments before conceding defeat to US President Barack Obama in the 2012 US presidential election. AFP PHOTO/EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Chris Chocola, President of Club for Growth, said the Republican party should avoid playing "a more influential role" in GOP primaries, calling it a big "mistake."

"It is hard to imagine a bigger mistake," he writes in an op-ed for the Kansas City Star.

Chocola notes that "everyone wants to avoid the next Todd Akin or Christine O'Donnell," two Republicans who became infamous for their eyebrow-raising remarks on rape and witchcraft, respectively.

"But the Republican establishment has a horrendous track record of accurately identifying which candidates are truly unelectable and which are not," Chocola writes. "Too often, party insiders mistakenly substitute the word 'unelectable' for the word 'conservative.'"

Chocola also highlighted 2012 Republican candidates who were touted by the GOP establishment and lost. He writes:

First, let’s review the Senate races where the Republicans nominated so-called “electable” establishment candidates in 2012: Denny Rehberg in Montana, Rick Berg in North Dakota, Heather Wilson in New Mexico, George Allen in Virginia, Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin. All were establishment favorites because they were all “electable.” All of them lost.

Second, let’s review the recent history of the Republican establishment’s choices of candidates in high-profile Republican primaries against fiscal conservatives.

The names that come to mind include Dede Scozzafava, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist. All were supported by the Republican Party establishment as the most “electable” in their respective races. These stellar “Republican” candidates ended up either endorsing the Democratic candidate in the race or became Democrats themselves.

Finally, let’s review the candidates that ended up winning races where the Republican establishment initially opposed them. Most instructive are the names Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. All of those candidates were deemed unelectable or outside the mainstream in the past, and yet now they are viewed as major parts of the future of the Republican Party.

Chocola isn't the only conservative criticizing the Republican primary process. Karl Rove recently credited Mitt Romney's "butt-ugly primary" to his loss in the 2012 presidential race, and Romney himself called the GOP primary "nuts."

Click here to read the entire op-ed.



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