Pork barrel Republicans got a bit of a wake up call yesterday with the defeat of liberal Republican Joe Schwarz, backed by George Bush and John McCain, in the Michigan GOP primary. Conservative Tim Walberg defeated Schwarz, who opposed making the Bush tax cuts permanent, with the help of the Club for Growth. Blunt, Hastert, Frist – pay attention boys.
Rep. Joe Schwarz’s re-election campaign turned into a clash of Republican titans: moderates versus conservatives, President Bush and John McCain versus the Club for Growth, and abortion rights versus right-to-life groups.
Schwarz lost and the conservative movement won. Republican Tim Walberg will be heavily favored to succeed the moderate in Congress, but the implications could reach far beyond the borders of the rural southern Michigan district.
TIM WALBERG, CLUB FOR GROWTH PAC-ENDORSED CANDIDATE, DEFEATS REP. JOE SCHWARZ (MI-07) TO WIN GOP PRIMARY
First Ever Club-PAC Primary Victory Against An Incumbent
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its first-ever primary victory against an incumbent, the Club for Growth PAC extended its record to 7 wins and 2 losses when challenger Tim Walberg defeated incumbent Representative Joe Schwarz today in Michigan’s seventh district. Michigan Republican voters sent a clear message to Congress that they are tired of the big-spending, big-government policies that contributed so much to Joe Schwarz’s downfall.
“Michigan voters made it clear that they still want Congress to limit government, reduce wasteful spending and cut taxes,” said Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth. “The Club for Growth PAC is proud to have played a major role in helping Tim deliver his pro-growth, winning, message.”
The Club for Growth PAC endorsed Walberg early in his race and raised over $600,000, from Club members, in contributions to the Walberg campaign. In addition, the Club for Growth PAC spent over $500,000 in independent expenditures including hard-hitting TV and radio ads that underscored Joe Schwarz’ liberal record on economic issues.
“Our ads focused almost exclusively on the need to cut taxes and spending. The final ad we ran had a huge impact,” Toomey said.
“Rep. Schwarz was one of the worst examples of Republican politicians who have abandoned any real commitment to limited government and pro-growth policy,” Toomey concluded. “But Michigan voters have responded by electing to replace him with a true economic conservative who will work to enact the pro-growth agenda. We look forward to seeing Tim Walberg win in November and then serving in Washington in the 110th Congress.”