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Conservatives and establishment Republicans ready to rumble

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Gentlemen, commence with the sword rattling, and let the infighting begin.

The Senate Conservatives Fund has attacked the Conservative Victory Project, a brand new super PAC organized by American Crossroads, the sleek 2012 fundraising machine that boasted Karl Rove as its point man. A New York Times account of it all paints a dire picture of discord:

“The biggest donors in the Republican Party are financing a new group to recruit seasoned candidates and protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and tea party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate,” the paper said Sunday.

The new project has inspired some sarcasm from the Senate Conservative Fund, founded in 2008 by then-Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, becoming an independent PAC in July, 2012.

“The Conservative Defeat Project is yet another example of the Republican establishment’s hostility toward its conservative base,” declares executive director Matt Hoskins. “Rather than listening to the grassroots and working to advance their principles, the establishment has chosen to declare war on its party’s most loyal supporters. It is a continuation of the establishment’s effort to avoid blame for their horrible performance in the 2012 elections.”

He continues, “They blew a ton of races up and down the ticket because they recruited moderate Republicans who didn’t stand for anything. Now they want to use this new PAC to trick donors into giving them more money so they can lose more races.”

Out of 27 Republican challengers in 2012 races, Mr. Hoskins adds, only a trio of “anti-establishment conservatives” were elected, all supported by the Senate Conservatives Fund: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Deb Fischer of Nebraska.

Mr. Hoskins also notes that his organization raised $25 million to support Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

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