September 12th, 2010
12:24 PM ET
8 years ago

Armey, Lott disagree on GOP assimilation of Tea Party candidates

 Dick Armey and Trent Lott spoke Sunday with CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union.

Dick Armey and Trent Lott spoke Sunday with CNN’s Candy Crowley on State of the Union.

(CNN) - Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a leading voice in the Tea Party movement, said Sunday he disagreed with a leading conservative Republican's assessment of how establishment politicians in the Republican Party should regard Tea Party candidates if they're elected to serve in Washington.

Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a strong voice for conservatives, told the Washington Post in July "as soon as they [Tea Party candidates] get here, we need to co-opt them."

Armey told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that he felt Lott used "a bad choice of words."

"You were talking about a group of people whose necks stiffen immediately upon hearing that word," Armey said. "These are independent-minded people, they really have no particular appreciation for the performance of either party in the past several years. They want to run for office in order to change that."

Lott said the GOP leadership will need to work with newly elected Republicans to shape the party's agenda.

"It's not a matter of trying to get them to change their position," Lott said. "They are going to bring enthusiasm and new ideas and pressures in Washington, and I think that's good. But I do think the leadership has got to learn very quickly to work with them and turn it into positive energy."

Armey said he felt a marriage of anti-establishment Tea Party candidates and establishment GOP leadership could survive.

"I was majority leader and I was never establishment," Armey said.

Filed under: 2010 • Dick Armey • Tea Party movement • Trent Lott
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Papasan in AZ

    Fascism has come to America wrapped in the U.S. flag and carrying a cross...
    What the Fascists fear most of all is intelligence.
    Stay stupid America, the GOP & Fox News loves you that way.

    P.S. has the proof that right wing loonies are retards in patriotic clothing...

    September 12, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. u2canfail

    The "T hater group" will be the end of the GOP. They are too extreme, and some are downright stupid. A Tbag next to me in line said she had no health insurance, it was too expensive. Then when I asked what she did for health care, the answer, "I go to the FREE ER." She is using taxpayer funds now for the most expensive health care available. And she argued the care was FREE, not taxpayer funded. OK that is stupid. She was against my paying for a public option, but she already uses programs paid for by the rest of us. But then idiots are everywhere. FYI: Her son on SCHIPS another paid by taxes program.

    September 12, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. lisa

    If the tea party were really independent, their candidates wouldn't be running for the GOP nomination.
    We heard a lot of noise about some of them being democrats, but the truth is they're really all aggrieved McCain voters who took losing badly.
    They're republican through and through, there's nothing independent about them at all.

    September 12, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Armey is a wolf in sheeps clothing and the Tea Party are his flock. These people better wakeup and I mean quick. Armey is no different than Pastor Jones who started a furry over burning the Qu'ran.

    September 12, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. LouAz

    Could the TPers become the NO party to the Repungnant NO party ?
    Way to govern, cannibals. You betcha !

    September 12, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    The wars in iraq and afghanistan were not free – they just were never put on the books to show the fiscal damage to this country until President Obama took office (deceitful little republicans).

    The 70 billion tax cuts for the weathy were not free – they just were never put on the books to show the fiscal damage to this country until President Obama took office (deceitful little republicans).


    September 12, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    Former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey said , "I was [Republican] majority leader [in the Congress US] and I was never establishment," WTF??
    This is a great illustration of how truth and facts mean nothing to these radical scum bags.
    They can and will blurt out anything – no matter how absurd – that pops into their weak brain.

    You cant' get much more establishment than "Repub House Majority Leader" of any generation let alone that of 10 or 15 years ago. Ad to that the fact that teabaggers are funded by Rupert and the Koch Brothers – two of the richest and most ruthless ESTABLISHMENT industrialists in the history of the world!

    September 12, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. The Veteran

    Tea Pary, GOP, and the Pharisees = One, and the same.

    September 12, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. ronalde

    if the tea parties get to washington they wll be in the minority of the gop,and they will have no voice in their own party,their ideas are not new just old policy.

    September 12, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. vic, Nashville TN

    Tea party hurting GOP .Tea party start was good then they mess with every thing FOX NEWS and conservative radio talk show add fuel to tea party Now tea party threaten GOP candidates , now we are loosing good candidates from GOP example Fl.Gov. Charlie Crist

    Republican party was the best now no more

    September 12, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. katiec

    With the candidates the tea partiers are respresenting they deserve no creditibility. It is quite obvious they do not have a clue what is needed to run our country.
    They have allowed theirselves to be manipulated, used and brain washed by the radical Avery, Koch brothers and the irresponsible Palins, Bachmans, Rove etc of this world.
    They seem to not understand that behind it all is the desire to put Wall St back in control of our country.
    Would hope they will start thinking intelligently but that probably will not happen. In the meantime, dedicated Americans will ignore their hypocrasy, misguided stance and realize we have to see to it that the Democrats remain in control for the survival of our country.

    September 12, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Methuselah

    "Independent" teabaggers...yeah right...that's why they are running in GOP primaries. It is a canard. It is a big whopping lie to rebrand the GOP. Clearly each and every one of these jerks is a GOPbrand candidate so take the "tea party" name and shove it. They are One In The Same.

    September 12, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Marge

    Of course Armey agrees with the tea bags. He is funding them. He thinks if enough get in he will have control of congress. why do you think his so called grass roots program had so much money. HE AND HIS CORPORATE BUDDIES ARE FUNDING IT.

    September 12, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Maybe Armey was never part of the "establishment" because people in this country didn't want to "establish" a totally radical agenda such as he was and is trying to shove down our throats.

    ha ha ha ha ha

    September 12, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. jim

    Go ahead and trash the tea party members all you want liberals.Most are decent hard working americans that don't like what's happening to our country. You'll be crying in Nov.when they have spoken with their votes.

    September 12, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. charlie from the North

    Ticker: Can GOP, Tea Party coexist?

    Can the Tea Party and our constitution coexist? NBL Not bloody likely.

    September 12, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Reality Check

    I would like to see the Tea party be independent from the Republican and Democrat parties. The Dems and Repubs have controlled the election process for far too long, with too many carrer politicians who are out of touch with what the average citizen wants/needs.

    September 12, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. BB

    Dick Armey saying: "I was majority leader and I was never establishment," is about as laughable as you can get. He has connections in nearly every aspect of the political machine in America. It is hilarious that he managed to dupe so many people into thinking he just an ordinary grass-roots activist.

    September 12, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Terry

    I hope Candy kept an eye on her purse while these two were in the studio.

    September 12, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. Tony

    Republicans should worry about the Tea Partiers. The Tea Partiers don't just want to defeat Democrats. They want to take over the Republican Party. It is not a matter of whether the Republican Party can assimilate the Tea Party- it is a matter of the Tea Party wanting to assimilate the Republican Party. The Tea Party is like the Borg in Star Trek. Resistance is futile.

    September 12, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Patricia - Houston

    When are people being used by Armey going to realize it? If the Tea Party is NOT a part of the Republican Party, what Democrat in or out of office do they support?
    Republicans are better at politicking than Democrats. You have to be a good politician in order to get people to vote against their own best interest.
    As for Armey, his problem is with President Obama being President; his ego is as big as the State of Texas and all of the U.S. have seen what type of peopleTexas has sent to the Congress.

    September 12, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Jimbo (The real one)

    The Tea Party really amuses me. Their partisans come to Washington with their lawn chairs (that are barely big enough to hold their girth) and "rail" against everything government. Can you imaging the outrage from this group if they were asked to give up their social security, medicare and other government programs when they need them? Do you know how they can ease the strain on the heath care system? Educate themselves and then LOSE SOME WEIGHT....!

    September 12, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. they call me "tater salad"

    Dick Armey and Trent Lott............Nuff said!

    September 12, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. wiseupsuckas

    On a good day, the republican party is about true fiscal responsibility, economic self-sufficiency and preserving the Constitution. The Teabags are about imposing some sort of corporate-owned Jesus theme park on the rest of us, and the Constitution (like the bible, and everything else they don't bother to actually read) is something to be name-dropped but not respected. Republicans and libertarians of a more conservative stripe (of which I am one) are in dire need of a movement of our own. The dumbing-down of our brand by Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and FOX might win elections, but isn't going to get us out of the recession, Afghanistan, the current health-care crisis, and other real problems.

    September 12, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. larry

    Armey and Lott are big republican insiders and lobbyist but Armey says the Tbaggers is from the grass roots....but he never says it is funded by special interest lobbyist that care nothing for the people. They have fooled a lot of racist and stupid republicans.

    September 12, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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