Club for Growth

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The Club for Growth, nicknamed "Club for Chinese Growth" because of its support for phony free trade at the expense of American jobs, is a libertarian-leaning economic group funded by wealthy donors. The organization has been known for endorsing and funding fiscally conservative candidates over moderates and Democrats. Club for Growth’s political action committee has been heavily involved in funding candidates who favor lowering taxes, and sometimes against Trump-endorsed "America First" candidates. Perhaps learning from its past defeats by conservative, pro-Trump candidates, in February 2023 Club for Growth endorsed Rick Scott (R-FL) while criticizing RINO Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).[1]

Conservative populist JD Vance overcame millions of dollars in negative ads run against him by the Club for Growth in the May 3, 2022, Ohio GOP U.S. Senate primary, and criticized the Club for Growth in his victory speech. However, to the credit of Club for Growth, it made a last-minute $5.5 million expenditure in support of conservative Blake Masters in his bid for U.S. Senate in Arizona, in the last week of that campaign.[2]

Club for Growth spends significant funds, often on ineffective or counterproductive negative ads, on elections:

The Club for Growth spent $71 million supporting Republican candidates in the 2020 election and [as of April 28, 2022] raised $38 million for the 2022 midterms, spending $13 million.[3]

Rather than fund grassroots efforts, Club for Growth spends wastefully on often-negative advertisements that probably have virtually no effect on elections. Its negative ads against a conservative, who then wins the primary anyway, can make it harder for the conservative to win the general election.

As a "527" organization, the Club for Growth accepts unlimited funding and is not required to disclose the names of donors. Because of its donors' political influence on the organization's message and political positions, former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has referred to the Club for Growth as the "Club for Greed." He said regarding the organization's credibility:

"You have to understand that the Club for Greed,' as I like to call it, is really not being an objective organization. You give them money and they will say whatever you want them to say. [It's] a pass-through so that people who don't have the guts to run for office can write a big check and hide behind the trees, and let the Club for Greed go do its dirty work for them...It's been discredited [by] a lot of objective organizations"[4]

In 2005, the organization came under criticism, which led to the founding of another organization by some of its former members: the Free Enterprise Fund.[5]

For years the president of Club for Growth was anti-Trump Patrick Toomey, who generally promoted globalist free trade at the expense of working Pennsylvanians. In 2015, it is David McIntosh, a former congressman and founder of the Federalist Society.


According to the organizations website [1], its goals are:

  • Making the Bush tax cuts permanent
  • Death tax repeal
  • Cutting and limiting government spending
  • Social Security reform with personal retirement accounts
  • Expanding free trade
  • Legal reform to end abusive lawsuits
  • Replacing the current tax code
  • School choice
  • Regulatory reform and deregulation


The Club for Growth was founded in 1999 by Stephen Moore; a senior economist at the Joint Economic Committee and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.[6] The organization called on candidates to return to Ronald Reagan’s conservative “vision of limited government and lower taxes.”.[7] In 2002, the organization raised $9.2 million for the 2002 campaigns, and in the 2004 election, the organization heavily campaigned for low tax candidates; spending a total of $20 million on behalf of GOP candidates. They aired a 30-second television commercial which depicted Democratic candidate, John Kerry as a spinning weather vane. To increase influence on sitting candidates after the 2004 election, the organization hired its first lobbyist. Soon after, former conservative congressman, Patrick Toomey, replaced Stephen Moore as organization leader.


In 2005, the organization became rifted as accusations of betrayed principals and stolen donor list.[8] Many of the problems came about after a disappointing primary race between Congressman, Patrick Toomey, and moderate, Arlen Specter. Some former leading members and Moore started another organization, Free Enterprise Fund.[9] Moore stated,

"To see the club splintered this way was a heart-breaking tragedy, but the good news is most of the original founding committee members of the old Club for Growth that we built into such a political juggernaut helped me launch the Free Enterprise Fund,"[10]

In the 2006 Rhode Island Republican senate primary election, Club for Growth heavily campaigned against liberal Republican senator Lincoln Chafee in his primary race against conservative Steven Laffey.[11]

In the 2016 election cycle, the Club for Growth was strongly against Donald Trump and spent millions against him.[12]

In 2017, the Club for Growth lobbied against a GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. After the bill was defeated, President Trump tweeted: Trump's tweet on Obamacare repeal

External links