Club for Growth Displeased by GOP Convention Lineup
By Lori Montgomery
The Club for Growth is not satisfied with the lineup of GOP convention speakers announced yesterday.
Already less than enthusiastic about Sen. John McCain's record on taxes, the conservative anti-tax group was "disappointed" to see that none of its favorite lawmakers had been invited to take the stage in St. Paul.
"Many of the slotted speakers are impressive leaders in their own right," Club for Growth President Pat Toomey said in a press release, "but it is hard not to notice the absence of the Party's most pro-growth elected officials."
The group was particularly perturbed by the prominent role granted former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (whom the Club has criticized for raising taxes), as well as relative unknowns such as Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle and former Maryland lieutenant governor Michael Steele. Meanwhile, the group said some of "the party's most steadfast elected economic conservatives" -- such as Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) , Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford -- were overlooked.
Club for Growth spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said the group understands that the GOP needs speakers like Lingle, who is female, and Steele, who is black, "to look diverse and all that good P.R. stuff." But she said McCain should also make room for conservatives "on the front lines" of the fight against big government and high taxes.
"There's definitely lingering concern about his overall commitment," Soloveichik said of McCain. "He's definitely better than Barack Obama on every issue. But is his heart with the Mark Sanfords and Jeff Flakes of the Republican Party? Or is his heart with the Tim Pawlentys and Mike Huckabees and Linda Lingles?"
Posted at 3:47 PM ET on Aug 21, 2008
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