Club for Growth president: Karl Rove doesn’t care about ‘core beliefs’ candidates hold

February 28, 2013

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* As expected, competing Democratic and Republican proposals to avert the sequester failed to advance in the Senate on Thursday, as lawmakers prepared to leave Washington for the weekend without avoiding the deep federal spending cuts set to begin kicking in on Friday. President Obama responded with a statement saying Republicans 'chose' the sequester.

* Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is considering a Senate run -- but she wouldn't make a bid if Rep. Steve King (R) enters the race.

* Paging Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)? The anti-tax Club for Growth launched a six-figure ad buy against Sen. Mark Pryor (D) on Thursday that ties him to Obama. Cotton, an Iraq war veteran whom the Club backed for the House in 2012, is viewed as a potential Pryor challenger. When asked whether the Club's new ad was an effort to entice Cotton to run, group spokesman Barney Keller only pointed out that the group has supported him before, and would seriously consider supporting him as a Senate candidate. Lt. Gov. Mark Darr (R), meanwhile, looks poised to get in the race.

* Club President Chris Chocola says his group cares about candidate beliefs, while Karl Rove and his Conservative Victory Project only care about branding. "The only thing that matters to us is what the candidate believes, and whether they have core beliefs based on pro-growth policy, economic issues only is what we do at the Club for Growth. What Karl Rove and some of the establishment groups only care about is the brand. They only care if someone’s a Republican or not. They don’t really care what their core beliefs are," Chocola said in an interview.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Five candidates -- three Republicans and two Democrats -- have collected more than the necessary 10,000 signatures to get on the primary ballot in the Massachusetts Senate special election, suggesting that there will be a contested race on both sides (the signatures still have to be certified before this is for certain). Democratic Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch turned in more than 10,000 signatures, while on the Republican side, state Rep. Dan Winslow, businessman and former NAVY Seal Gabriel Gomez, and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan each also submitted more than 10,000 signatures.

* House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will appear on NBC News' "Meet The Press" on Sunday.

* The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed consideration of new gun control measures for at least a week because members of both parties wanted more time to review the bills and propose amendments.

* Nike will spend $50 million over the next five years to help First lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move Active Schools" effort.

THE FIX MIX:

Bounce passes are sooo passe. It's all about the bounce shot.

With Aaron Blake

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Aaron Blake · February 28, 2013