Inside Politics: Former tea party leader blames GOP for setbacks

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The former leader of a tea party group says the Republican Party and stupid statements by some candidates are to blame for GOP losses in last month’s congressional elections.

Dick Armey, who until recently led the conservative group FreedomWorks, said some GOP candidates said “stupid things” that party leaders should have taught them to avoid saying. He said Republicans had a lot of candidates who did “dumb things” during their campaigns.

Mr. Armey, a former Republican House majority leader from Texas, did not specifically mention controversial comments about rape by GOP Senate candidates in Indiana and Missouri that contributed to their defeats in November.

Mr. Armey said it is the party’s job to support and train candidates.

Mr. Armey left FreedomWorks after an internal dispute about the group’s direction.

SUPREME COURT

Sotomayor discusses health, fears in upcoming memoir

Supreme CourtJustice Sonia Sotomayor says in her upcoming memoir that her lifelong battle against diabetes and the fear that she might die early played a big part in her decision not to have children.

The 58-year-old Justice Sotomayor says in an unusually personal book for a Supreme Court justice that she feels an occasional tug of regret at not having borne or adopted children. The memoir, “My Beloved World,” is being published by Knopf in January. An early copy was sent by the publisher to The Associated Press.

Justice Sotomayor also defends affirmative action — under which she was admitted to Princeton University and Yale Law School — as needed to get disadvantaged students to the starting line of a race to success. She grew up poor in the South Bronx.

SENATE

Governor says no to picking placeholder

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday she won’t appoint a “placeholder” for the resigning Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, saying she wants her pick to be someone who would consider seeking re-election to the seat in 2014.

The move amps up speculation the GOP governor will appoint Rep. Tim Scott to fill the remaining two years of Mr. DeMint’s term.

“I do not want to tie the next U.S. senator from South Carolina’s hands regarding future office,” the governor said in a prepared statement. “I do not want to deprive our state’s citizens of the chance to render their judgment on the appointee’s performance by way of their vote.”

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