Club for Growth President Chris Chocola says that, while his group views Mitt Romney as a better choice than President Barack Obama, it has “uncertain” expectations should the Republican candidate win the White House.
“We don’t really know” whether Romney’s policies would align with the Club for Growth mission of lower taxes and smaller government, Chocola said today in Washington. “That’s the knock against Romney, is you don’t really know how he’ll serve.”
Chocola also called Romney “a mixed bag” when asked whether he is a pro-growth candidate. He said Romney’s tough talk on China as a currency manipulator is a particular cause for concern. “He knows better, but he says what he says,” Chocola said.
Club for Growth did not endorse a candidate in the Republican primary.
Yet Chocola said some reason for optimism can be found in Romney’s record of low government spending while governor of Democratic Massachusetts, concluding: “I think he has the potential to exceed expectations.”
Such lukewarm support highlights the challenge Romney faces in rallying the Republican base as Election Day approaches.
Some top Republicans have been critical of his campaign, particularly after the release this week of a recording of him at a May fundraiser describing 47 percent of Americans as government-dependent “victims” who don’t pay federal income taxes and won’t vote for him.
Chocola, speaking at a breakfast in Washington this morning sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, said it can be difficult for former business executives to make it as politicians. Chocola served two terms as a Republican representative from Indiana after running a farming equipment company; Romney led a private-equity firm in Boston.
“Business guys don’t really want to talk about themselves,” Chocola said, discussing candidates in general. “Business guys have a hard time understanding why the results don’t speak for themselves.”