Politics

TheDC Exclusive: Ron Paul will not join the Tea Party Caucus

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Steven Nelson
Associate Editor

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, an icon to many members of the Tea Party movement, has decided not to join the House Tea Party Caucus.

Jeff Deist, chief of staff for Paul, confirmed the congressman’s decision in a statement to The Daily Caller.

“Congressman Paul decided not to join the Tea Party Caucus,” Deist wrote in an e-mail. “He strongly believes the Tea Party movement should remain a grassroots phenomenon, rather than being co-opted by Washington or any political party.”

The House Tea Party Caucus was organized by Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann ahead of the midterm elections. According to Bachmann’s website, there are 52 Republican representatives who are officially members.

Paul’s decision not to join the caucus has put him at odds with his son, Kentucky Senator-elect Rand Paul, who is working to organize a Tea Party caucus within the Senate.

In a recent interview with TheDC, Rand Paul said that he was also considering the formation of a bicameral caucus of Tea Party-supported members of Congress.

Although Ron Paul fears a co-opting of the movement, Rand Paul told TheDC that he hopes to channel Tea Party energy by creating a link between Congress and the Tea Party activists who were instrumental in electing many new conservatives to Congress this election cycle: “I’d also like it to involve the grassroots, in some way, the Tea Party groups so we get some kind of input from folks all around the country, some kind of electronic town hall or something like that.”

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  • craigiri

    The tea party is not a grass roots movement. It is all a matter of clear record – Dick Armey, who is the usual suspect (GOP long time pol, house member, lobbyist, etc.) started it with his corporate financed Freedomworks. Tens of millions of dollars have been poured in the various tea parties from corporate backers – corporations who demand blood for their contributions! The Koch (oil) brothers are major funders of many tea groups.

    Are there some parts which are grass roots? Sure, but the real answer is this – without corporate money and Fox news pimping, etc. the TP would not exist as it does today.

    As to Rand Paul, never has someone waffled so far and so fast. He started out anti-war, and quickly turned on that one. He started out libertarian, and now wants pork and earmarks for KY. Most pols actually wait until they get sworn in to go back on their promises….Rand did not even have the courage to go that far.

    But, I know, because he is on the right – he is exempt from being called a waffler – right? Sure.

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  • truebearing

    How is joining the Tea Party caucus “co-opting” anything? No one asked him to be the king.

    I generally like Ron Paul, but tend to like Rand better. This position of Ron Paul’s on the caucus is precisely why. He belongs to the Republican Party, which he distrusts and criticizes frequently, which it frequently deserves, but he remains a member. Now the Tea Party comes along and infuses some true conservatism back into the party and he won’t join the caucus. This makes no sense, since the stronger the caucus is, the more influence it has. Politics is about influence!

    Ron Paul is showing signs of being a bit rigid, or dare I say, dogmatic. This isn’t about purity, it is about results, and the only way the Tea Party will continue to have integrity is if the Tea party rank and file, i.e. the voters, keep it that way.
    No politician, well intended or not, is the flame keeper of the Tea Party. It is a grassroots movement, and if the grass roots, we the people, stay involved in our responsibility as citizens, the Tea Party will continue to have impact and integrity. Ron Paul is sounding a little to much like he thinks the movement is controlled from the top down. His joining won’t have any earth shattering consequence, just another voice added to help make a sharp right turn.

    • krjohnson

      I do not follow your logic at all. Ron Paul does NOT want to join the “Tea Party Caucus” (a group of elected officials that decide what they think a decentralized, amorphous, movement called the “Tea Party” wants), and therefore he sounds like HE wants to control the movement from the top down?

      It seems like quite the opposite to me. I think it sounds like all these Republicans who are joining the Tea Party caucus want to control it from the top down. I know, I know, they always say “It’s about *listening* to the grass roots.” Well, maybe it is but I guarantee that politicians will hear what they want to hear. And then the media will latch on, like they have with these national Tea Party groups, and tell everyone what the “Tea Party” said even though it was just the politicians and not the Tea Party itself.

      Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care who joins the Tea Party Caucus or who says what about the Tea Party as long as we get some more votes for liberty. But I think Ron Paul is right at least in his logic if not in his action.

  • LithiumAM

    Can’t blame him. The Tea Party is full of fake Libertarians like Palin. Even the person who started the Tea Party call it a joke, and it is. Get all the fundamentalist Christians/Social Conservatives, and it wont be…

    • truebearing

      LibriumAM,

      “The Tea Party is full of fake Libertarians like Palin. Even the person who started the Tea Party call it a joke, and it is. Get all the fundamentalist Christians/Social Conservatives, and it wont be…”

      You’re a moron, to put it simply, and likely a fraud.

      A “fake Libertarian”? What exactly would that be? Are you an anarchist? That is pure Libertarian, and moronic in the extreme, I might add. Are you so fundamentally retarded that you think the libertarians are going to win any election without conservatives? OK, dumb question. Your comment speaks for itself, though rather slowly.

      Where is your source for this Tea Party founder declaring it a joke? Is driving the Progressives out of control of the house a joke to you? Why aren’t you laughing?

      You’re a bigot and an idiot, and I doubt any sane libertarian wants to claim you as a compatriot.

      • mrdeleted

        Some fake recently declared himself a “tea party founder” and said it was become a joke, so now the frauds have a hero.

  • zig zag

    Great debate, and I understand more about the snakepit. Thanks, I think..?
    The Dems may have been taken by surprise by the tea party this time, but I feel they will rebound and put the tea party back in the closet soon. Much to the chagrin of the majority of us Americans. They will use the Republicans, to help, and once again, the status quo will be in D.C. Neither party cares about the American people, not you, not me, not our neighbor. The tea party has made inroads to the core of our problems, but only in small numbers. This government, has created such firewalls, that they sure as hell are not afraid of one vote, or one new incumbent. The original ‘tea party’ did not accomplish much in the grand scheme of the time either. As stretch pelosi stated, was mostly an ‘irritant’…….but the Revolution that followed sure got the attenton of the ‘lords’….purge the lot, and we will finally be free… again’. Make them afraid……not of your vote….but really afraid…….

  • loudog

    In time the GOP will do the same thing to the Tea Party that they did to Ron Paul during the last campaign. Good move to stay away from Bachmann.

  • John

    I support the Tea Party and all the strides they’ve made to make dramatic changes to the government.

    It doesn’t stop there.

    It’s like the Super Bowl, two teams get there one team is just glad to be there and the other team wants to win.

    I personally am uncertain where they are headed, I hope they can find some common ground to defeat the monster government we have created.

    The Tea Party better realize only in unity can lasting changes be made.

    Division only marginalizes the effort and effects of change.

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