A deep-pocketed conservative organization with a long list of Republican scalps said on Tuesday that it would launch a major ad campaign aimed at Donald J. Trump in an effort to weaken him among the voters who have made him an unlikely but powerful force in the Republican presidential race.
The group, Club for Growth, is focusing its considerable firepower first on Iowa, where Mr. Trump has leapt to a significant lead over more conventionally credentialed Republican candidates, panicking Republican leaders. The group will spend $1 million on advertising in the state starting on Thursday, with plans for further spending in the weeks ahead, the club’s president, David M. McIntosh, announced at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday.
“The Club for Growth is committed to seeing this all the way through,” Mr. McIntosh said, explaining that the group would also use mail and online outlets to carry its message and was considering joining with other conservative or Republican groups. “We’ll continue doing it until people realize that Donald Trump is not an economic conservative.”
The club is employing a two-pronged approach to try to discredit the candidate. It is utilizing Mr. Trump’s previous liberal policy views to argue that his campaign promises are disingenuous. And it is highlighting his use of eminent domain as a developer to suggest that Mr. Trump has a record of hurting middle class Americans to bolster his own business interests.
One ad, titled “Politician,” features clips of Mr. Trump voicing his more liberal positions on those issues. It warns conservatives that “he’s really just playing us for chumps.”
"Politician" by Club for Growth Action
Video by club4growth
“Donald Trump is the worst Republican candidate on economic issues,” Mr. McIntosh said in a statement. “It’s astonishing that he’s even running as a Republican.”
The announcement marks the first serious and sustained attempt to defang Mr. Trump by any moneyed force in the Republican Party. It is a test Mr. Trump, for all his apparent strength, has yet to face.
No other conservative group, candidate, or faction has yet been willing to invest significant cash in bringing Mr. Trump down. Opposing candidates appear more worried about husbanding their cash, or spending it to improve their own credentials with …Read More