U.S. Chamber of Commerce flirts with political ‘impotency’ after endorsement gamble
The business lobby group has had its political muscle tested by a slew of high-profile endorsements
The American Chamber for Lobbying says it has “a major responsibility” to support “responsible government” in the U.S.
But the business group has also been tested by a slew of high-profile endorsements, including the endorsement of GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan
The Chamber has the right to endorse candidates, and it does
But its political muscle has been tested this year by a flurry of high-profile endorsements from its membership, including backing for three Republican candidates – including the speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The Chamber has the right to endorse candidates, and it does, but it also has the right to “have a major responsibility to stand up and fight for the most important principles in our democracy… as we have been doing for some time.”
The American Chamber for Lobbying claims to have endorsed 543 candidates and is credited with helping elect nearly a fifth of the 435 House seats in 2012, according to the National Journal.
The group, whose members include many of the nation’s largest companies, also says it is supporting “responsible government,” the “fight to restore the rule of law,” “fighting for America’s future” and “defending the Constitution.”
‘We have a responsibility to defend the Constitution and defend the democracy in America.’ – U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue
The group, which has endorsed many of the country’s largest companies, including BP, General Motors, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and Hewlett-Packard has also signed on to “a commitment to defend and support the most fundamental principles in our democracy, as we have done for some time.”
In a statement, Thomas Donohue, the Chamber’s CEO, said the U.S. Chamber can “stand up for the Constitution and stand up for the democratic process, which is the most important part of our society.”
The group also is sponsoring “a constitutional amendment that will strengthen the voting rights protections for all Americans and allow more Americans to cast their vote without fear of disenfranchisement.”
The group would like to see the U.S. Constitution amended so “we have the equal right to vote,” said Donohue.