“Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, one of the most influential players in the Republican party, is privately battling the Club for Growth,” National Review’s Costa reports of Barbour, who is an adviser to American Crossroads, which launched its effort to defeat what they see as fringe conservative candidates. “Last week, at a closed-door retreat in northern Virginia, Barbour told a large gathering of congressional staffers, including several leadership aides, that party officials should discourage donors from funding the high-profile conservative group.”
Barbour told NRO: “We kicked away four or five Senate seats in the last two cycles by nominating candidates who did not have the best chance to win. We ought to talk to Republican donors now, in the off-season before the primaries, and discourage them from donating to organizations that will attack good Republicans.”
The Club for Growth hit back, saying Barbour didn’t seem to so dislike the club when he was thinking about running for president in 2011. Club President/ex-Rep. Chris Chocola: “Haley Barbour is a good guy. When he was thinking of running for President, he was more than pleased to attend the Club for Growth’s winter economic conference, and he had nothing but nice things to say about us! Now that he’s back to his more familiar roles as a lobbyist and Republican Party insider, he is singing a different tune. That’s politics.”
Also… Republican committees are getting together -- with Uncle Sam -- to hit congressional Democrats on spending: “The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a joint effort today to remind Democrats that even if they don’t want to admit it, spending in Washington is a problem. Today, Uncle Sam can be spotted around the Capitol handing out flyers … encouraging Americans to remind Democrats that their spending addiction must be stopped. Just this week, the two top ranking Democrats in the House have stated that they don’t think Washington has a spending problem.” (We didn’t know Uncle Sam was a Republican…)
ILLINOIS: Democrats are coalescing around Robin Kelly, the Cook County chief administrator, for the special election to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. The latest is Rep. Jean Schakowsky (D-IL),” Roll Call reports.
NEW JERSEY: Frank Lautenberg on Cory Booker: Do your job. He told the New York Times: “I’m going to finish the work I’m doing. And he should finish the work he is doing instead of traipsing around the country.”
Meanwhile, Booker’s finance director quit. “Her departure comes as questions about Menendez’s campaign finances percolate throughout the political world. A Booker aide said Maltzman’s departure had “absolutely” nothing to do with Menendez,” Roll Call writes.