Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tea Party pushing midterm challenges to Democrats and Republicans
The loosely knit coalition of groups has already targeted some of the Republican Party’s most established candidates, accusing them of compromising their conservative principles in negotiating with Democrats.
The Tea Party Express even boasted this winter that promising to mount a primary challenge against Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss forced him to retire instead of seeking a third term.
“Lest anyone think this decision is about a primary challenge, I have no doubt that had I decided to be a candidate, I would have won re-election,” responded Chambliss, who was part of a bipartisan Senate group that tried to reduce the national debt.
One of the most recent, high-profile Tea Party challenges is in South Carolina, where Nancy Mace, the first female graduate of The Citadel, is trying to unseat two-term Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, whose efforts to pass immigration-reform legislation appears most upsetting to the movement.
Graham also frustrated conservatives so much this spring when criticizing fellow Republican and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for filibustering over the Obama administration’s drone strikes that FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said Graham was “begging for a primary.”