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As the tea party movement enters its sixth year, the future of conservatism is both complex and controversial. On Wednesday night, Chris Chocola of the Club for Growth and Steven LaTourette of the Main Street Partnership sat down with AEI’s Tim Carney to discuss the ideological and strategic differences that divide conservatives.
Chocola argued that the tea party and affiliated organizations are standing up for the promises that Republicans campaign on and are holding Congress accountable to these commitments. He further claimed that conservatives should support candidates who are going to stand firm on principles and fight for fiscally responsible policy, even if it means challenging incumbents and moderates.
Former congressman Steven LaTourette agreed that Republicans need to fight for responsible economic issues, but stressed that they must do so by finding common ground in a divided government and by getting the most out of passable bills. He concluded that to gain a majority in Congress and drive real reform, conservatives must support the candidates who are most likely to succeed in their states and districts.
Many claim that the tea party movement awakened conservative grassroots and injected much-needed energy into the GOP. It was arguably the tea party wave that allowed for the 2010 Republican House majority. But the unbending demands and unfiltered talk of those associated with the movement have made life difficult for Republican Party leaders, who charge the tea party with wrecking the GOP.
So who is hurting the conservative cause, and who is helping it? Are the tea partiers causing the damage, or is the GOP establishment to blame? Is it the principled, fresh-eyed insurgents, or is it the prudent, experienced statesmen? Join us for a lively debate of these questions and more.
If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.
Chris Chocola, Club for Growth
Steve LaTourette, Main Street Partnership
Timothy P. Carney, AEI
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Timothy P. Carney is a visiting fellow at AEI where he helps direct the Culture of Competition Project, examining barriers to competition in all areas of American life, from the economy to the world of ideas. Carney has more than a decade of experience as a journalist covering the intersection of politics and economics. His work at AEI focuses on how to reinvigorate a competitive culture in America in which all can reap the benefits of a fair economy. Carney is the author of two books: “The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money” (John Wiley & Sons, 2006) and “Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses” (Regnery Publishing, 2009).
Chris Chocola is the president of the Club for Growth, America’s leading limited-government, free-enterprise political advocacy group. He became president in April 2009. Chocola began his career at CTB Inc., a leading manufacturer in the agriculture equipment industry, and became CEO of the company in 1994. After CTB was sold to Berkshire Hathaway, he ran to represent Indiana’s Second Congressional District. He represented the district for two terms from January 2003 to January 2007. While in Congress, Chocola distinguished himself as one of its leading advocates for limited government, often casting lonely votes in defense of taxpayers’ economic freedom. He supported pro-growth tax cuts, decreased government spending, personal Social Security accounts, the protection of political free speech, and less government regulation. He served on the Agriculture, Small Business, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Ways and Means committees.
Steve LaTourette is the president and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership. He served nine terms in the US House of Representatives representing Northeast Ohio’s 14th Congressional District. In the House, LaTourette was a member of the Appropriations Committee and previously served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Before his election to the House, LaTourette served from 1989 to 1995 as the Lake County prosecutor. In 1990, he was named Prosecuting Attorney of the Year in Ohio for his successful prosecution of 13 members of a murderous religious cult.