Tax-Cut Group Launching Anti-Dean TV Ads

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

( - A leading tax-cut group says it will launch anti-Dean TV ads in Iowa and New Hampshire this week.

The political advertisement will criticize former Vermont Governor Howard Dean's tax-hiking ideology as "hopelessly out of step with the rest of America," the Club for Growth said.

"Howard Dean's liberalism may play well with latte-drinking, body-piercing, public radio listening crowd, but it won't play with hard-working Americans," said Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth.

"For the last year, Howard Dean has moved further and further to the left. He has admitted he would repeal the Bush tax cuts, which jump-started the economy. For that reason alone, Howard Dean poses a grave threat to the economic well being of all Americans," Moore said in a press release announcing the ad campaign.

Moore said his group plans to spend about $4 million "hard" dollars to combat ads by left-wing groups funded by liberal activists such as George Soros, Peter Lewis and others.

But The Washington Times reported Tuesday that the anti-Dean ads have "puzzled" some Republican strategists and Bush supporters, who wonder why the Club for Growth is spending money now to attack a candidate that many Republicans view as eminently beatable.

The newspaper quoted one Republican strategist as saying that the Club for Growth should heed the advice of the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater: "Never interfere with your opponents when they are in the middle of destroying themselves."

The Club for Growth was founded in 1999 to elect pro-economic growth fiscal conservatives. It has been critical of some of President Bush's policies, and Moore told the Washington Times his main concern is promoting "good policy for the nation, not to help George Bush."

In the 2000 election cycle, the Club for Growth says it spent $2.4 million to help elect 10 new Republicans to Congress. The Club for Growth says it has grown six- fold since the 2000 election cycle and it says its members raised or donated over $10 million to help elect seventeen new Members of Congress in the 2002 election cycle.

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