In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Outside Groups Slam Chamber For Backing Pro-Business GOPers

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Similarly, Daniel Horowitz, the policy director for The Madison Project and a blogger for Red State called the Chamber of Commerce's efforts "pretty pathetic." In an email to TPM, also on Thursday, Horowitz wrote:

With Congress’s approval rating in the single digits, there is a bipartisan consensus among the people that it’s time for a new direction. Whether people agree with all of our views or not, the Tea Party is actually the only group willing to do something about the status quo. We are trying to replace the leadership of both parties and install citizen legislator candidates who will not be tied to special interests and will not make politics a career.

Amazingly, the Chamber is just the opposite. They are happy with the status quo, as long as their interests are taken care of. They claim to represent the business community, but they only represent the power brokers. If the strongest players on the block are those in power, they will circle the wagons around them. This is what Jim DeMint used to call venture socialism. They are fine with big government and government intervention so long as they can make money off of it. It’s pretty pathetic to spend $50 million defending the status quo that everyone on both sides of the spectrum believes has failed the country.

Observers shouldn't be surprised that the Chamber of Commerce is spending so much money to try and defeat tea party challengers, FreedomWorks senior fellow Tom Borrelli said.

"One of the biggest myths out there is that the tea party is a creation of big business. Nothing is further for the truth. Big business, again, likes big government," Borrelli told TPM on Thursday.

Borelli said his group's response to the Chamber's $50 million is just to "just to support the brand of Republicans that we think should be in Congress, those who are going to fight for limited government, lower taxes, and more freedom"

"This is a battle between the outsiders and insiders and insiders include big bucks and establishment Republicans," Borelli added.

The goal of the Chamber of Commerce's push is to make sure Republicans aren't stuck with "loser candidates" in general elections, Chamber of Commerce political strategist Scott Reed told the Journal.

"Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates," Reed said. "That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket."

Already the fighting has erupted into clear public view. Earlier in December House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) strongly criticized groups like SCF, the Madison Project, FreedomWorks and Heritage Action for America for opposing the two-year Murray-Ryan budget deal.

"They're using our members and they're using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous," Boehner said in mid-December.

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About The Author

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Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.