WASHINGTON -- The Club for Growth PAC on Friday slammed Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who ranks number one on the conservative group's scorecard, for appearing in a television ad on behalf of a Republican Arizona Senate candidate not endorsed by the PAC.
Franks stars in a television commercial for Wil Cardon, who is running in the Arizona primary against Rep. Jeff Flake (R) for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R). In the ad, Franks pushes back on Club for Growth claims that Cardon lacks fiscal conservative credentials. Club for Growth's PAC is targeting Cardon with $500,000 in radio and television ads, according to Roll Call. Just in the past week, it reported spending 281,000 on radio and TV ads against Cardon, according to FEC reports.
“I need to set the record straight. These Club for Growth attacks on Wil Cardon labeling him an impostor are absolutely false,” Franks says in the video. “I personally know Wil Cardon is a jobs creator, a conservative Reagan Republican, that he has the business skills we need in the Senate to fix this economy.”
"Wil Cardon will be a true, conservative Republican Senator we can trust," he says.
Franks was ranked number one in 2011 on Club for Growth's scorecard, just as he was in 2008 and 2005. The scorecard ranks House and Senate lawmakers every year based on their votes in favor of limited government and low taxes.
But that didn't stop the Club for Growth PAC from trashing Franks for stumping for the wrong candidate. A spokesman accused Franks of harboring old resentment over the fact that Club for Growth endorsed Flake over Franks when both were mulling a Senate run. Franks ultimately pulled out last year.
"Trent Franks is a good man and it's a shame that he is allowing his personal bitterness at the Club for Growth PAC's support of Jeff Flake over him in the U.S. Senate race to cloud his judgment about liberal Wil Cardon," Club for Growth communications director Barney Keller said in a statement.
"The facts in our ads are entirely accurate: Wil Cardon did support a massive tax increase, and Cardon is a leading member of a liberal organization that wants to raise gas taxes and backs a cap-and-trade energy scheme," he said.
The Arizona primary is August 28.