Club For Growth's McIntosh: Stefanik Will Be 'Terrible Leader'
Club for Growth president David McIntosh speaks to members of the media outside the West Wing of the White House, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 07 May 2021 02:57 PM
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., should not be picked to replace Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as the head of the House Republican Conference because she is "very much a liberal" with her voting stance and would be a "terrible leader," David McIntosh, the president of the conservative Club For Growth, said Friday.
"She voted against the Trump tax cuts," McIntosh said on CNN's "New Day" about Stefanik. "She voted against the bill that would keep us out of the climate change accord. She has throughout her career been a pretty far-left Republican."
The other two top party leaders in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., are backing Stefanik in a vote set for May 12 to force Cheney out of her leadership post.
Cheney has been vocal in her opposition to former President Donald Trump, including voting to impeach him after the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol.
McIntosh said Friday that while Stefanik has voted against Trump-backed legislation, "her ambition told her" she "better get on board with President Trump."
"Our worry is when she gets into leadership, she has no principles at that point, and that's the biggest problem the Republican Party has right now," McIntosh said. "The voters don't think they stand for principles. They're not sure whether they're loyal to President Trump or not, and she'll be a terrible leader."
McIntosh added that he thinks Trump likes Stefanik because she was "part of that defense team on the impechment.
The Club for Growth did not agree that the former president should have been impeached, he stressed, but its issues with Stephanik go deeper than that.
"What will she do on the common sense agenda?" he said. "Will she build more welfare or cut taxes? Will she increase government spending like the Democrats do? She appears to vote with the Democrats on a lot of those issues."
It will also be "tough" for her to lead Republicans because "people won't believe it's genuine" when she says Republicans should oppose all of President Joe Biden's spending bills "when she's a big spender."
McIntosh also said his organization is looking for candidates who fit the more traditional conservative roles of the party, while still embracing Trump and his supporters.
"Some people like Liz Cheney made the mistake of saying there's no room for Trump or his part of the party," McIntosh said. "Other people like Elise Stefanik say, we don't really believe the principles. What you need is somebody that combines the right answers, we look for candidates like that to support. "
Following that formula will also be the way for the Republican Party to regain the majority in Congress, said McIntosh.
"Keep [the] real principles, but make sure you appeal to the average American who voted for Donald Trump and wants to see somebody stand up for America, not just a personality," McIntosh said. "What they want to do is see the government's working for them, that it will create jobs, create an economy that works for them. And benefits everybody. That's the key to success for the future in our country."