This week, Club for Growth President David McIntosh penned the following op-ed explaining that Republicans must stop governing like Democrats if the GOP wants to retain its majority this November.
An excerpt of McIntosh’s piece is included below. You may also read it in its entirety here.
If Republicans Want to Win, They’ll Have to Stop Governing Like Democrats
“The liberal media keeps beating the drums that President Trump could cost Republicans their majorities in Congress.
“Not so fast. The Club for Growth PAC’s experience in running dozens of races in Republican primaries this year reveals the real problem. Republicans are in trouble because their own base is rejecting moderates who failed to uphold their promises to help President Trump roll back big government.
“We heard the same predictions in 2016 — Republicans would lose the Senate because Trump was at the top of the ticket. Instead, they kept control of the Senate and won 13 out of 18 toss-up House districts. These include the open seat in New York’s 19th Congressional District where Republican John Faso handily beat Zephyr Teachout by nine points. …
“How did they do it?
“They ran on a fiscally conservative platform that wooed many former Obama voters who were sick and tired of the waste, excess, and regulation of Obama’s reign. …
“But with the 2018 midterms less than three months away, the pundits predict that ‘Republicans will lose 40 to 50 House seats.’ Almost all of these seats are represented by moderates who have dragged their feet on implementing President Trump’s mandates. Their average on the Club for Growth Scorecard on economic issues is a mere 64 percent — basically a D+ at best.
“Over the past two years, so-called moderate congressional Republicans abandoned their conservative campaign promises and sided with Democrats. From repealing ObamaCare, to passing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that ensures perennial $1 trillion deficits, these Republicans forced the Republican-controlled Congress to break many of its core campaign promises.
“John Faso, for example, ran as a frugal fiscal conservative in his open-seat race, promising to ‘fight to lower taxes to help create jobs.’ …
“After being sworn into Congress, however, John Faso the congressman didn’t look anything like John Faso the candidate. Instead of cutting taxes and simplifying the tax code, Faso voted against President Trump’s signature tax cuts (RC #699, 2017). Instead of living up to his self-proclaimed frugality, Rep. Faso couldn’t muster the frugality to support a mere one percent spending cut (RC #251, 2018). …
“New York’s 19th district is a lean-Republican seat (R+2 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index) that handed Trump a six-point victory, but Faso is voting like a Democrat on fiscal issues. In 2017, Rep. Faso earned a meager 24 percent on the Club for Growth’s scorecard — the worst Republican score in the House of Representatives.
“Republicans like Rep. Faso have a problem on their hands: The GOP is treating voters as if they’re stupid — but they are not. Voters are smart. They know what candidate Faso promised: to change Washington. And they know what he did: jump on the DC swamp bandwagon.
“Similarly, take a look at the special election in Ohio’s 12th congressional district, where moderate Republican Troy Balderson who supported funding Medicaid expansion barely eked out a victory over Democrat Danny O’Connor. …
“But this special general election race never should have been this close. The 12th district has an R+7 Cook Partisan Voting Index rating and was easily held by Republicans for 30-plus years.
“Republican and independent voters are sending a message — they are rejecting establishment orthodoxy — that it is not OK to run as a conservative and govern as a moderate.
“Time and again, Republicans have failed to learn this important lesson. If Republicans want to hang onto their House majority, the single most important thing they can do is start acting like conservatives.
“It’s time for Republicans to learn this lesson before it’s too late.”