The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will spend a minimum of $50 million to “support establishment, business-friendly candidates in primaries and the general election, with an aim of trying to win a Republican Senate majority,” the organization announced this week.
In other words: Tea party candidates need not apply.
“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce political strategist Scott Reed, according to Breitbart News. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”
The move would weed out candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Sharon Angle and Todd Akin, all of whom lost their respective Senate bids. But it also may have eliminated candidates like U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Meanwhile, Rove’s group, American Crossroads, will be operating more from the shadows this time. Both Crossroads and Conservative Victory Project, an affiliate created to elect centrist candidates, have opted to keep their names out of Kentucky’s Senate primary between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and tea party challenger Matt Bevin.
The move was prompted in part by the less-than-savory image Crossroads has developed with the GOP’s conservative base. Crossroads’ image was also tarnished by its lack of success in 2012. It had nothing to show in the win column after it and its affiliates spent nearly $450 million.