- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s emerging unity between the tea party and establishment Republicans says Taylor Budowich, executive director of the Tea Party Express. The national political action committee organized an official grassroots response to the State of the Union address by Rep. Curt Clawson, a Florida Republican who won his office in a special election by 40 percentage points last year, with much bedrock conservative support. Mr. Budowich finds evidence of some cooperative unity in the response itself.

“The selection of Senator Joni Ernst by the Republicans and Curt Clawson by the tea party suggests that Republicans are coming together with a united, conservative agenda - an agenda that will actually work in contrast to the failed policies President Obama is clinging to,” says Mr. Budowich.

The press has made much of perceived discord within the Republican Party in recent years, often suggesting that the tea party movement was “dead” and establishment leadership mired in unproductive rivalries. Polls have revealed a public weary of political discord, both within the major parties - and between them. In his State of the Union response - delivered Tuesday night from the National Press Club following Mrs. Ernst’s speech - Mr. Clawson also alluded to the importance of civility.

“We want opportunity for all - but favoritism for none. As Americans - we celebrate our diversity. We don’t always see things the same way. But we can and must respect and listen to each other. And when we disagree - we’ve got to do this without insulting each other,” he said.

See his complete speech here.

Mr. Clawson’s response was the fourth tea party rebuttal organized by the Tea Party Express, incidentally. The first response was delivered by then-Rep. Michele Bachmann in 2011, followed by Herman Cain in 2012, Senator Rand Paul in 2013, and Sen. Mike Lee last year.

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