Saturday, January 23, 2010

Republicans Strain to Ride Tea Party Tiger

As they look to make gains in statehouses and Congress this year, Republicans are trying to harness the Tea Party energy that helped make an unknown named Scott Brown the senator-elect from Massachusetts. But it may not be easy, as one Republican in Colorado learned the hard way. When Scott McInnis appeared on Fox News last month underneath a title calling him the “Tea-Party-backed candidate” for governor, he triggered a tempest. Tea Party leaders fired off angry e-mail messages and public statements insisting that he was not their choice. “Let it be known that we will not be used by any party or candidate!” Lu Ann Busse, the head of a coalition of Tea Party brethren known as 9/12 groups, declared at a “Defend the Republic” rally where she was invited to set the record straight after Mr. McInnis’s appearance. Across the country, many Tea Party activists believe that they have to work within the Republican Party if they want to elect fiscally conservative candidates. But they want the party to work for them — not, they argue, the other way around. For Republican officials, managing the tensions between the two parties — one official, one potent — can be something like a full-time job. “I do spend a lot of my time running interference,” said Dick Wadhams, the chairman of the Colorado Republican more

No comments:

Post a Comment