I am not a fan of the Chamber of Commerce. I have often said they are an ideological enemy of conservatives. They have been a major player in attempting to crush insurgent conservative Senate and House candidates.
That said, no one – including me – would pretend that the Chamber does not matter. They are a huge gateway to fundraising and a major booster in the public’s eye to the Republican nominee’s credibility (usually). The reason conservative activists talk so much about the Chamber is that their money and influence matters.
And they have had it with Trump’s ignorant trade rhetoric. The Chamber and the NAM issued statements today blasting Trump’s trade policy speech that left no room for doubt:
— U.S. Chamber (@USChamber) June 28, 2016
Here’s the thing: one of the areas where Trump is unquestionably not just as bad as Hillary but actually much worse than Hillary is trade. He actually said in his speech today that he would seek to roll back NAFTA – not even Hillary is that insane. The Chamber’s rhetoric today raises the specter that the CoC might not just stay out of the race but actually might run ads against Trump, which would have a devastating effect for the Republican nominee.
Of course, the schadenfreudelicious part of this whole debacle is that the Chamber, which has spent years opposing the efforts of people like Ted Cruz now gets to see what the alternative is, and how ugly that alternative can be.