WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One of Washington’s most influential conservative advocacy groups will take aim at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on the airwaves in the early voting state of Iowa.
Club for Growth Action, a Super PAC that is permitted to spend unlimited amounts of campaign money, said on Tuesday it is buying $1 million worth of attack ads that describe the New York real estate mogul as too liberal and backing policies that are contrary to conservative principles.
Trump has skyrocketed to the top of the field of Republicans vying to represent the party in the November 2016 election. He is leading in polls nationally and in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which have outsized influence on the process.
“It’s important, I think, for the ads to show people, 'Watch what he’s doing.' He’s playing them for chumps,” Club for Growth President David McIntosh said. “I think the American people are wiser than that. They’ll get it.”
Much of Trump’s rise has been attributed to his being outside the traditional political world. The billionaire, who has never held public office or previously run for a government job, has said he will fix the system.
The Super Pac ads aim to depict him as part of the political establishment and just another politician, repeatedly describing him as “the worst kind of politician.”
Club for Growth has long been a thorn in the side of establishment Republicans, but in launching these ads it is aligning itself more closely with those in the party hoping to defeat Trump.
Trump this month began attacking Club for Growth in anticipation of the advertisements. He bashed the group for once asking him to make a $1 million donation.
“The phony Club For Growth, which asked me in writing for $1,000,000 (I said no), is now wanting to do negative ads on me. Total hypocrites!” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this month.
For more on the 2016 presidential race, see the Reuters blog, “Tales from the Trail” (http://blogs.reuters.com/talesfromthetrail/).
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis)