Commentator Erick Erickson says he never suggested that Tea Partiers target Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown in 2012 by running a more conservative primary opponent against him.
“Tea Party activists would be nuts to challenge Scott Brown,” Erickson elaborated to The Daily Caller. “He’s the best we can hope for in Massachusetts and is not a blight on the party like Mike Castle would be.”
The day after the midterm elections this month, Erickson listed all 10 Republican senators up for election in 2012 on his RedState blog, saying Tea Partiers will have to decide which of those they will target in primaries.
Because Brown’s name was on that list, some in the media took that to mean that a movement was building to take down Brown. The Huffington Post ran the headline, “Scott Brown Finds Himself On Tea Party’s 2012 Hit List.”
That article analyzed the meaning of Brown’s inclusion: “Erickson’s site is a hub for Tea Party theology and was one of the earlier indicators of the wave that would define the just-completed cycle. So his inclusion of Brown is noteworthy, not just in what it potentially foreshadows but also because it is an indication of how dispirited conservatives are with the man they helped elect.”
Erickson said he never intended to single out Brown.
The confusion caused Erickson to update his blog post, he said, and clarify that targeting New England Republicans such as Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe and Brown “might not be the wisest primary fights for the Tea Party movement.”
Rob Eno, a Tea Party supporter in Massachusetts who also blogs at RedMassGroup.com, says he doesn’t see a primary challenge in Brown’s future. “I don’t think there really is anybody with the gravitas to challenge Scott. It’s a pipe dream,” he said.