In 2004 and 2006, the Club for Growth emerged as a major factor in a number of Republican primary races, specializing in challenging incumbents from the Right. The group spent millions in direct contributions and independent advertising to nearly unseat Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 2004 and Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee in 2006, and they succeeded in ousting Michigan Rep. Joe Schwarz. Chafee, who narrowly survived the brutal primary challenge only to lose in the general election, accused the Club of backing a hidden social agenda, but the group insisted it was strictly business, with a public focus on advocating for policies like tax cuts on investment income.
But Club for Growth President Pat Toomey struck a different chord speaking at a recent meeting of a Christian conservative group in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he said the Club continues to “scour” for right-wing challengers:
The featured speaker was former U.S. Congressman Pat Toomey, who provided the crowd with an update on the conservative movement.
Toomey lost in the primary Senate race against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter. He is also the president of the Washington-based conservative group The Club for Growth, which promotes economic freedom and raises funds for conservative candidates.
“It’s all about protecting our Christian heritage,” Toomey said. “And, a culture that is under assault.”