Freedom Path, a Utah nonprofit, says its $200,000 television ad praising Orrin Hatch for his leadership helped persuade Rep. Jason Chaffetz not to challenge the six-term senator.
Chaffetz told Roll Call on Tuesday that the ad was amusing, and he contended it did not influence his decision to remain in the House. But the Republican acknowledged that part of his calculus was a desire to avoid a bloody primary battle that might have left him with irreparable political damage. Freedom Path board member Scott Bensing indicated, in the first interview granted by the group, that the nonprofit has no qualms with Chaffetz's conclusion.
"Freedom Path paid to air the ad 'Leaders' in Utah because we feel strongly about the balanced budget amendment and those who have a strong history of supporting it as elected officials such as Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee," Bensing said. "We will continue to aggressively voice our support for issues important to a fiscally sound government."