Politics

Tea Partiers to GOP: Fall in line or face challengers

Prominent leaders within the Tea Party movement have a warning for presumptive House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. – keep their campaign promises to cut spending and repeal the health care law or face defeat in their next primaries.

Tea Partiers plan to remain a political force to be reckoned with going into the 2012 presidential races and beyond, and they plan to prove party politics as it has existed for the past century are over. They see a sharp contrast between themselves and earlier conservative groups such as the Christian Right or the Reagan coalition, which allowed themselves to be manipulated and outmaneuvered by the Republican establishment.

“We are not going to back down, and we are going to be holding people’s feet to the fire — the new incoming freshmen as well as the old guard that’s still there,” said Tea Party Express leader Amy Kremer. “We’ve heard from the Republicans over the past 12 or 24 months about what they would do if they gained control.

“Now is the time to stop with the lip service and show actions; you know actions speak a lot louder than words, so now we in the movement are now going to see if they are going to walk the walk.”

Compromise with Democrats on key issues would be a non-starter for Tea Partiers, and doing so would prompt a Tea Party backlash, Tea Party Patriots National Coordinator Mark Meckler said.

Meckler warns Republican senators up for re-election in 2012 to think twice about voting on compromise with the Democrats because they will face the same fate at outgoing Utah Sen. Robert Bennett or Delaware Rep. Mike Castle.

McConnell’s support for earmarks, for example, could put him in hot water with the Tea Partiers who promise to take him down the next time he runs unless he relents.

“I guarantee there will be primary challenges in 2012 for those folks that don’t hold strong,” Meckler told The Daily Caller. “I guarantee in two years we will vote all of them out and have another celebration.”

Boehner would find himself at the top of the Tea Party’s list of primary targets if he goes back on any of his campaign promises, Meckler said.

“We can’t expect in three months to have ObamaCare repealed; to have the budget balanced, or have our debt paid down,” Kremer said. “That’s unrealistic and we need to be realistic, but we want to see progress.

“We didn’t get here overnight, and it’s going to take a couple of election cycles before we get enough conservatives in there, so that we can completely turn things around.”

Elected conservatives such as Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., anticipate the House Republicans will keep their word. “It is time for us to walk the walk,” Price said.

According to Price, Republicans will make repealing the president’s health care plan, restoring the Bush tax rates if the Democrats don’t act in the lame duck session, and vigorous oversight of the Obama administration’s actions on a host of fronts top priorities come January.