Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker urged tea party activists Sunday to focus on defeating Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, not challenging Republicans they think are insufficiently conservative during primary season.
The potential 2016 Republican presidential contender appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Candy Crowley:
CROWLEY: When Republicans on Capitol Hill agreed to a budget agreement before they left for the holiday recess, Speaker John Boehner came out and really took on conservatives — tea party-types — for having an undue influence on some of his members that have blocked, famously, a number of things that we know that Speaker Boehner wanted to do. What do you think the role of the tea party is in 2014 in terms of Republican primaries or even moving into the generals? Are they on the rise in power or on the wane?
WALKER: Well, it’s hard to say because there’s no one monolithic group that’s the tea party. What I’ve seen over the years is frustration build across my state and across the country, particularly with the federal government, where people thought the government had grown too big, too expansive, too [much] a part of our lives and Obamacare was kind of the last straw a few of years ago. People showed up at the congressional town hall meetings, and when people didn’t feel like they were listened to, then they took out their frustration particularly in the 2010 election. I think that to a degree is healthy if it is focused in the right way. But one of the things I said after the budget compromise is for people who didn’t like it, who didn’t think it was good enough, the answer is not to take it out on House Republicans or in primaries, the answer is to go to Kentucky — or excuse me, to go to Louisiana or go to Arkansas, or go to North Carolina, or Alaska, where there are senators facing reelections as Democrats, and go and help in those elections and elect new Republicans to come, because a year from now things will be much different if Republicans hold the United States Senate. Don’t focus on the people in office; focus on those who you would like to replace.