- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Express members say it’s more important to win the Senate than elect hardcore conservatives, and they have put out the word: Moderates like Sen. Pat Roberts and Sen. Scott Brown have their support.

In addition to backing Mr. Roberts — hardly the love of tea partyers — TPE is also pushing South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds for Senate, The Hill reported.

It’s a “hold their nose and vote” attitude that’s taken root, and it’s based on the growing awareness among tea party types that a moderate win is better than none at all, said FreedomWorks Executive Vice President Adam Brandon, The Hill reported.

That sentiment is echoed by TPP president Jenny Beth Martin.

“Our members have told us that right now, having a Republican-controlled Senate and firing [Majority Leader] Harry Reid are their top priority,” she said, The Hill reported.

The new attitude is a near 180-degree turn from what brought the tea party into full legislative force in the 2010 elections. Then the mantra was all about sticking by principle, regardless of ensuing GOP loss. And it comes on the heels of the latest primary fight where tea party groups failed to win any key battles.

“In 2010, we thought it was very important to get people’s attention and so we had to make that statement and challenge the establishment,” said TPE founder Sal Russo, The Hill reported. “[But] 2014 was the time to take back the Senate — it wasn’t a time to purify the party.”

The concessions also come on the heels of several Republican Party fixtures, like talking head Karl Rove and Sen. Mitch McConnell, declaring that tea party influence is harmful to the GOP — a rift that’s hardly been repaired in recent months.

“Conservatives didn’t take out a hatchet. Mitch McConnell and the establishment Republicans did,” said Ken Cuccinelli, the president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group that has yet to jump on the moderate-moving bandwagon of the tea party groups, The Hill reported. “There is no evidence they have buried that hatchet, and the grassroots is very, very aware of the establishment-induced rift in the party.”



Click to Read More

Click to Hide