Club for Growth exposes GOP rising star Aaron Schock (EXCLUSIVE)

Club for Growth's Andy Roth isn't a fan of Illinois congressman Aaron Schock. Here's what the conservative super PAC really thinks about this GOP rising star and his mentor, Eric Cantor. Photo: Associated Press

CHICAGO, September 5, 2012 ― Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) is getting a lot of attention these days. With the tabloid media gushing, the 30-something congressman is already being touted as a gubernatorial candidate for 2014 by party bigwigs back in Illinois. 

Schock has cred: He’s already seen Paul Ryan’s abs.

In the congressional shower no less.

Maybe it’s his penchant for the color pink or his campaign-funded p90x pecs that have Illinois GOP operatives getting a collective shiver of their spines. But Illinois party officials are already mouthing the words, “Governor Schock” in 2014.

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL)

Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady is already plotting out Schock’s future in the state:

“I think it’s [Schock’s future] unlimited. I think anything he [Schock] puts his mind to, he can accomplish,” said Brady, who is leading a charge to reduce the role Illinois Republican voters would play in choosing their gubernatorial nominee.

However, not everyone is a fan of this GOP rising star. Tea Party organizers are still furious over Schock’s pivotal role in the defeat of longtime conservative congressman Don Manzullo.

But Schock’s biggest opponent may be one he cannot ignore – the conservative Club for Growth. The conservative super PAC’s Andy Roth sat down with me recently for a one-on-one interview to talk about Schock’s liberal voting record, his relationship with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, and why GOP leadership has been targeting conservative lawmakers for defeat.

Here are some excerpts from this KTS EXCLUSIVE interview:

What was Eric Cantor trying to do by interfering in this Republican primary [Don Manzullo race]?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: What Cantor did was nothing short of remarkable. It basically said GOP leadership is actively going to defeat conservatives and that’s what they did in this race. Cantor and Aaron Schock contributed to the Primary Accountability Campaign and they ran ads against Don Manzullo. The Young Guns PAC is run by former staffers for Eric Cantor.

They don’t actually collude with Eric Cantor?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: Wink, wink, nod, nod.

That’s what the average person likes about politics. The wink, wink, nod, nod. So what you are telling me is that former Cantor staffers are targeting conservative incumbents.

CLUB FOR GROWTH: Correct. In Indiana, we had a longtime liberal Republican U.S. Senator, Dick Lugar, who went up against conservative Richard Mourdock. The Young Guns PAC actually sent out mailers bashing Mourdock for making the conservative argument that the Department of Education should be closed up and allow education to work at the state level. And here’s the worst part. The Young Guns PAC, in this mailer, condemned Mourdock for being a conservative and urged Democrats to vote for Dick Lugar. GOP leadership is telling liberal Democrats to support a liberal Republican against a conservative.

What is the real agenda here? What is Cantor’s goal – if Aaron Schock’s goal is to run conservatives out of the party, what are we to tell Republican voters?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: We are in trouble simply because leadership has not learned the lessons of the last few years. Conservatives should hope for a GOP Congress and White House but shouldn’t believe that once we get there that everything is going to be hunky dory. Conservatives have a lot of work cut out for them and this is only the beginning.

This guy – Aaron Schock – what can you tell me about him?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: He’s a very liberal Republican. The reason he decided to go with Kinzinger is because they are two peas out of the same pod. Schock on our scorecard only got a 44%, which is a flunking grade for anybody. Unfortunately, Schock is a young guy in his early 30s as is Kinzinger but they are trying to portray themselves as the next generation of Republicans in Illinois.  Awful way to reenergize the GOP.

With regard to the FEC complaint against him, Schock admitted to his crime in the press. He said he would support Kinzinger against Manzullo and he wanted Cantor’s help so he went to Cantor and said Cantor please give $25,000 to the Campaign for Primary Accountability and by doing that he broke the law. As a lawmaker, you cannot solicit for more than $5,000.

Clearly, they [Cantor and Schock] are targeting conservatives because they have impeded leadership’s ability to pass large spending bills with liberal Democrats. We saw that with the debt deal last year and earlier this year with the highway bill. We will see it again this year with the farm bill.

So GOP leadership was against Manzullo because he opposes redistribution of wealth?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: What we’ve been saying at the Club for Growth is that liberal democrats want to take the country over the cliff at 50 mph. GOP leadership wants to take it over the cliff at 25 mph and conservatives don’t want to go over the cliff at all. GOP leadership still does not understand the urgency and need for us to stop the economic slide that Obama is perpetuating.

What do Schock and Kinzinger get out of it?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: Schock is just a sophomore legislator. He got in 2008 and was re-elected in 2010. Kinzinger got elected in 2010. Young guys. Immediately once they got elected they went to leadership and said, “How can we help?” Leadership has co-opted them from day one. When Kinzinger got in trouble, Schock and leadership said “we got your back” because they were not these rock star conservatives screwing up leadership’s agenda.

Transalation? They [Schock and Kinzinger] have no core values. They want job security. Benefits. Pensions. They want the goodies. So they are willing to sell out the GOP party platform. The Republican voters – people who contributed money to their campaign. Andy, was that a good translation?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: You got it exactly right. I urge voters to follow the voting records of Kinzinger and Schock and other members of the Illinois delegation. It appears they [Kinzinger and Schock] vote that way quite often. In Illinois, Joe Walsh in the 8th district was the best rated at 99%. Don Manzullo came in at 85% and then it drops off from there.

I have heard reports of people saying that unions crossed over at the best of RINO sellouts to support Kinzinger. Have you heard that out of Illinois?

CLUB FOR GROWTH: I had not heard that but it doesn’t surprise me. If you look at the voting record, it explains a lot. Kinzinger opposed the conservative amendment that would have struck funding for the National Labor Relations Board, which under Obama’s watch has totally overstepped its bounds. When it comes to siding with the labor unions, he also voted to keep the Davis-Bacon requirements – basically whenever the government spends money at the local level (for instance, to build roads) they pay higher than market wages to the labor unions for that work when they don’t have to. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars and Kinzinger supported that. So when it comes to supporting labor unions – Kinzinger has a voting record that shows that.

All three interviews in full are available here:




William J. Kelly is an Emmy award-winning TV producer and conservative columnist. He is also a contributor to the American Spectator and He is a native from Chicago’s Southside.

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William Kelly


Conservative commentator, satirist, and radio talk show host William J. Kelly pens the “Kelly Truth Squad” and “The Tea Party Report” for the Washington Times Communities and is a contributor to the American Spectator and Kelly is also a producer of Emmy award-winning TV and received an Emmy nomination himself for outstanding achievement on-camera. He was previously the Executive Director of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois, a taxpayer watchdog group. He is a native of Chicago’s South side. For more information, visit

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