This year that kind of ground tactic is going to be more prevalent, Donohue said, noting that the chamber plans to make use of its ability to communicate freely with its 3 million member companies located in every congressional district.
Donohue is not likely to name names at his news conference, but there is no doubt he is unhappy about Huckabee.
The concerns Donohue expresses reveal apprehension that Republican pro-business candidates may lose favor with voters and that the GOP's important but fragile alliance between economic and social conservatives is showing signs of strain.
Even more than Republicans, Democratic candidates have boosted the volume of populist messages as the economy softens. Edwards, whose trial lawyer past has been openly criticized by Donohue for years, launched new advertisements that warn against the danger of replacing "corporate Republicans with corporate Democrats."
The middle class, Edwards says in the new ad, is "losing ground while CEOs pocket million-dollar bonuses and corporate lobbyists get their way in Washington."
Donohue, in effect the nation's leading business advocate, kicked back hard at some of the leading Democratic proposals on taxes, labor law and the courts.
If that agenda succeeds, he said, Democrats "will be gone from power for at least 40 years," though he acknowledged that the political rhetoric might moderate after the primary season.
"People on the other side have been very strong in the way they play in legislation and elections. We intend to do the same," he said.