Michele Bachmann: 'tea party' tenets will lead to GOP resurgence
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) of Minnesota, talking with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Monday night, asserted that the tea party movement will come to 'dominate' the GOP.
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The question related to GOP moderates is far from settled as various tea party factions bid for power. Good example: While the so-called ‘tea party candidate” in Arizona, J.D. Hayworth, is bent on unseating Senator McCain, Sarah Palin – another national tea party figure – is set to campaign for McCain, her former presidential running mate.Skip to next paragraph
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And polls show that Charlie Crist, a popular moderate in Florida, has lost his lead in a US Senate race to tea party challenger Marco Rubio, after prolonged attacks on Mr. Crist about spending increases and his acceptance of federal stimulus funds to plug gaps in the state budget.
Some are concerned that hard-right tea partyers will drive out moderates, thus distancing the entire party from the American mainstream.
“It’s a mobocracy that folks on the right should probably be worried about,” says Robert Watson, a political-science professor at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. “They’re doing this litmus test, and tea party folks want a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity clone running the party.”
But while the tea party seems riven with conflict – witness the hotly debated Tea Party Nation convention, from which some tea party groups are now distancing themselves – Bachmann argues that it is the party’s ideals, not its leaders, that are influencing the GOP and worrying Democrats.
The recent dust-up between Bachmann and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (D), in which he urged Bachmann to “act like a lady,” showed post-Brown frustration among Democrats and unveiled “arrogance" toward those who want to put the brakes on the progressive Democratic agenda, Bachmann told Mr. O’Reilly.
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