First on CNN: Ted Cruz to woo top Club for Growth donors

Story highlights

  • Ted Cruz will have a chance to win over some of the Republican Party's top donors at a beachside conference later this month
  • The Texas senator is the sole presidential candidate confirmed to attend the Club for Growth's economic conference in San Diego on Oct. 15

Washington (CNN)Ted Cruz will have a chance to win over some of the Republican Party's top donors at a beachside conference later this month.

The Texas senator is the sole presidential candidate confirmed to attend the Club for Growth's economic conference in San Diego on Oct. 15, according to an invitation, giving Cruz a platform to court the deep-pocketed donors part of the Club's network. Cruz has been surprisingly effective at landing top GOP moneymen, collecting more than $50 million for his campaign and super PACs.
The Club, which is one of the most conservative spending groups in elections, is helping raise money for four presidential candidates; Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, whose campaign said was invited to the conference. But no other presidential candidates are confirmed to attend.
    "We believe he's a very pro-growth senator and would be a good pro-growth president," said Doug Sachtleben, the group's spokesman.
    The $1,500-a-head summit at the luxury Hotel del Coronado will feature "conversations about policy and politics with America's leading conservative, pro-growth Congressmen, Senators and Governors," according to the invitation. Conservative favorite Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is now running for a Senate seat in Florida, and Fox News personality Greg Gutfeld will also speak.
    At the Club's more extensive three-day retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, in February, six candidates earned facetime with the party's donors, who tend to butt heads with more GOP establishment financiers: Bush, Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Walker dropped out last week, and Pence chose to not enter the race.
    Cruz is a natural fit for the group, which is unafraid to battle in Republican primaries. One of the main donors to the Club for Growth's super PAC, New York hedge funder Bob Mercer, gave $11 million to start his own super PAC backing Cruz, Keep the Promise I.
    One potential area of friction: The Republican front-runner, Donald Trump, who Cruz has embraced even though the Club has unveiled a $1 million campaign to tear him down.