Club for Growth calls for primary challenge to NRCC chairman

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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The Chairman of the committee charged with getting Republicans elected to the House may have to deal with an election problem closer to home.

The conservative Club for Growth is calling for a primary challenge to Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, after he voiced a traditionally liberal talking point in objecting to President Barack Obama’s budget.

On Wednesday, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Walden remarked that Obama was “trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors.” That criticism — a traditional liberal talking point that many Democrats have used Obama’s budget — quickly drew fire from conservatives.

Club for Growth called for a primary challenge to Walden, adding him to www.PrimaryMyCongressman.com, a website whose stated purpose is “to raise awareness of Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) who are currently serving in safe Republican seats.”

“We always knew Greg Walden had a liberal record, but he really cemented it with his public opposition to even modest entitlement reform,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola in a statement. “Greg Walden has voted for bailing out Wall Street, dozens of pork projects, and against cutting the spending from the Obama stimulus. He even voted against blocking taxpayer subsidies for Viagra. Greg Walden should be held accountable for his anti-growth voting record as well as his anti-growth rhetoric.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner said Thursday that he had “had a conversation” with Walden on the subject but would not elaborate.

“I’ve made it clear that I disagree with what Chairman Walden said, he and I have had a conversation about it. … This is the least we must do to begin to solve the problems of social security.”

“Chairman Walden supports the budget passed by House Republicans that preserves and protects Medicare and Social Security while also balancing the budget in 10 years,” NRCC spokesman Daniel Scarpinato emails. “He disagrees with President Obama’s political plan that hurts current seniors just so he can pay for more wasteful spending.”

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