Did Club for Growth Try to Shakedown Trump?
By Jerry A. Kane
It looks like one of the preeminent tea-party-aligned groups has been outed for an attempted shakedown of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
According to Trump, the tax-cutting advocacy group has started running an attack ad campaign against him because he refused Club for Growth president David McIntosh’s request for a million-dollar donation.
Trump asked the group to release the letter McIntosh had sent him on June 2 requesting the donation. When the group didn’t respond to his request, Trump posted a copy of the letter on Twitter.
Late last week the group began its media-assault on the Donald:
“What we’ve said to our members is that ‘Trump is a liability to the future of the nation,’ and we’ve asked them for support for Club for Growth Action to get that message out. We’re also doing research, like we do on candidates, into his economic policy positions. At this point, we haven’t taken anything off the table – be it TV ads or any other means – to expose Trump as not being an economic conservative, and as actually being the worst kind of politician,” said David McIntosh, Club for Growth President.
In response to the shakedown allegation, the Club for Growth tweeted that Trump had tried to buy influence with organization, and his attempt failed:
“[Trump] tries to buy influence w his $. Failed with Club”
The group’s anti-Trump ad campaign looks a lot like the “you don’t play, we make you pay” extortion schemes carried out by shakedown artists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Had Trump acquiesced and handed over the million-dollar “donation,” it’s doubtful McIntosh and the Club for Growth would have declared a “war on Trump.”