Club for Growth targets Donald Trump with $1 million in Iowa ads
(CNN) The Club for Growth announced an attack on presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Tuesday, with plans to spend $1 million on ads in Iowa, slamming the outsider real estate mogul as “just another politician.”
The conservative group has typically backed outsider and tea party candidates over establishment types, but has been scrapping with Trump throughout the summer. Club for Growth President David McIntosh, a former Indiana Republican congressman, began plying donors for an attack against Trump last month.
“This year one candidate has emerged who would be a terrible leader on economic growth,” McIntosh said of Trump on Tuesday, adding later “He’s the worst kind of politician, he says anything to get elected, then he’ll do just the opposite when in office.”
Campaigns have struggled with how to handle the front-runner, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush finally stepping forward around Labor Day to take on Trump. But the salvo from the Club marks the first effort from an outside group of Republican and conservative donors to derail Trump.
Trump dismissed the ads in a tweet Tuesday morning: “Little respected Club For Growth asked me for $1,000,000 – I said ‘NO’. Now they are spending lobbyist and special interest money on ads!”
McIntosh acknowledged that the Club had asked Trump for money — something Trump blew up when tweeted a photo of the letter from the Club asking for $1 million.
McIntosh noted Trump’s line that he likes to buy politicians with donations and said “He must have been mistaken and thought he could buy the Club.” Speaking after the announcement, McIntosh said it was not intentional that the size of the ad buy was roughly the same as how much his group asked for from Trump.
He also said he expects more advertising against Trump throughout the campaign, but did not have specific details.