Republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is launching a new political action committee to help defend House conservatives from 2014 attacks from mainstream Republican PACs, Gohmert announced exclusively to The Daily Caller.
The new GOH Conservative PAC, inspired by the Senate Conservatives Fund, “defends conservative Republicans from the attacks that come from the mainstream,” Gohmert told TheDC. “That’s been a problem, we’ve seen in some races, where we’ve had leadership come and play and there was no counterbalance. So I’m going to do something about it.”
Gohmert detailed a long history of struggle and a do-nothing spirit within the Republican caucus, and the “depression” conservative House members felt when Speaker John Boehner conceded that Republicans shut down the government, a statement that must have been based on “reading the mainstream media and failing to read the record.”
“There’s a war against the tea party. There’s a war against conservatives, we’re told. If somebody declares war on me I’m not just going to lie down and take it. I’m going to fight,” Gohmert told TheDC. “You’ve got to have money to fight opposition. The leaders in the party raise money so that [makes congressmen] feel they have to stay close to them. If we raise money on our own we can take a stand.”
“I was inspired by what Jim DeMint did as a senator,” Gohmert said, referring to the recent Republican senator and current Heritage Foundation president who formed the Senate Conservatives Fund in 2008, as the tail end of the Bush presidency gave rise to the increasingly intense battle within the Republican Party. “We see the tremendous impact the Senate Conservatives Fund has had.”
Gohmert bristled at common attacks on the Senate Conservatives Fund, which was slammed as “unproductive” for the party by GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“It’s about defense,” Gohmert explained. “I haven’t heard any criticism yet. There are [other] people out there raising money. They’re raising money to help people that are not traditionally conservative.”
The Daily Caller recently reported that moderate Republican Steve LaTourette’s Washington-based super PAC Defending Main Street is mostly funded by labor unions.
“We’re reaching out to people who have traditionally helped conservatives, and that’s where the big push will be. We’re going to have a public approach,” he said, noting that “There are also people who can give $25 to $50” but that grassroots support could become a major component of the PAC “if there’s enough of a push nationally.”
From a policy standpoint, the PAC is predicated around conservative themes like balancing the budget, securing the border and protecting the Second Amendment. But Gohmert’s focus, as with the focus of the conservative in-fighting, is mostly based on fiscal issues. Gohmert laughed about Bob Woodward’s recent reporting that Sen. Ted Cruz eats alone in the Senate cafeteria, but made clear that in-fighting within the GOP and discontent with the current House leadership is a serious problem.
“People are not thrilled when you stand up and criticize your own party leaders. I say, ‘Look we made promises of what we would do when we were elected.'”