Alex Pappas writes:
Republican leader Rep. John Boehner, on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley this morning, said “competition is a good thing” when asked about Tea Party candidates in the 2010 elections:
CROWLEY: Let me ask you about Tea Party candidates, and their role in the Republican party, since they don’t necessarily see themselves as Republicans. If you have a Tea Party candidate that challenges a moderate in a swing district — a moderate Republican, a couple of things might happen. The moderate Republican might be so damaged that it’s hard for him to win — him or her to win in a swing district.
Or the Tea Party candidate has – had to swing so far to the conservative side that they’re not that appealing in a moderate district. Are you worried about those Tea Party candidates?
BOEHNER: No. I think competition is a good thing. You know, I’ve got 11 brothers and sisters. I learned about competition early on. But it makes everybody better. And so we’ve had Tea Party candidates in primaries. More competition the better.
CROWLEY: New York 23 – you lost a seat…
BOEHNER: Well that was a very unusual situation, because the candidate wasn’t picked in a primary it was picked by a handful of party bosses in a back room somewhere. It didn’t work real well. But when it comes to the Tea Party folks, I think our job is to listen to them. And I’m going to listen to them. I’m going to walk with them, and do everything I can to have them — interest them in working with us to bring about a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government here in Washington.
CROWLEY: So do you basically welcome challenges from the Tea Party to some of your sitting Republicans?
BOEHNER: Listen, when I talked about the number of candidates we have — give you an example. We’ve got 94 of the top 100 competitive districts with one or more candidates in the race. And in most cases it’s more than one. There’s a lot of interest around the country. People want to take a more active role. And I think — I think that we ought to welcome that type of involvement and activity.