The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is taking sides in another GOP primary fights, rolling out television ads in support of Rep. Michael Simpson in Idaho, where the veteran lawmaker has been attacked for not being conservative enough and described as a Republican In Name Only.
Mr. Simpson, an eight-term lawmaker, faces a primary challenge from attorney Bryan Smith, who has won the backing of the influential anti-spending group The Club for Growth — exposing the growing friction between business community leaders and grassroots activists within the Republican ranks.
“Mike Simpson, conservative, Idaho strong,” the chamber ad says, The Associated Press. The ad also warns that Idaho needs Mr. Simpson to push back against House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and her congressional allies who “want more government spending and more regulations.”
“No way,” the ad says. “Mike Simpson is fighting back, working for a balanced budget, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, fixing the Obamacare mess.”
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola responded that it’s not surprising that Mike Simpson is receiving support “from his allies in Washington” because the chamber and Mr. Simpson supported the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, spending in the 2009 stimulus package and raising the nation’s borrowing limit by trillions of dollars.
“I guess pro-bailout, pro-Obama stimulus spending, pro-debt birds of a feather flock together,” Mr. Chocola said.
The Club for Growth endorsed Mr. Smith in July, saying “we’re confident that he’ll be a strong conservative alternative to RINO incumbent Mike Simpson.”
“Career politician Mike Simpson is one of the biggest liberals in the Republican Party today,” Mr. Chocola said at the time.