Washington (CNN) - Does the Republican Party speak for the Tea Party? Or is the Tea Party message to the GOP: "You don't speak for me"?
On Tuesday night, after President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – the House Budget Committee Chairman – will deliver the opposition response.
Then something strange, and apparently unheard of, will happen.
As soon as Ryan is done speaking, a second Republican will deliver a State of the Union response – on the Tea Party's behalf.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann will broadcast a Tea Party address in a carefully choreographed event sponsored by the Tea Party Express. It will air on the group's website as well as its partner programmer,
TeaPartyHD.com. Bachmann, a darling of the movement, is the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus. Her State of the Union response will be delivered from the National Press Club.
The dual, possibly dueling, Republican responses highlight how the GOP and the Tea Party do not always walk in lock step. It also begs the question: could Bachmann upstage Ryan?
On Monday, Majority Leader Eric Cantor made clear that Ryan – not Bachmann – will be speaking for his party.
"Paul Ryan is giving the official Republican response," Cantor told reporters. He added: "You know Michele Bachmann, just like the other 534 members of the House and Senate, are going to have opinions as to the State of the Union."
In a Friday statement from the Tea Party Express, Bachmann said, "We're doing this broadcast to demonstrate that the hardworking citizens of this country have a powerful voice in Washington, even if they still aren't being heard in the White House."
But her action will undoubtedly be viewed through a political prism. Bachmann has said she is considering a presidential bid. And the visual optics of her going up against President Obama will certainly fuel media coverage of her speech.
In a Friday statement from the Express, Chairman Amy Kremer said, "Michele Bachmann has always been very supportive of the Tea Party Express" and called Bachmann a "'Rock Star' of the movement."
– CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report
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Being supportive or a rock star does not make one a Presidential candidate. She is TOO wacky to be taken seriously by the 98% of the rest of the population... I HOPE!!!!!!
We're doing this broadcast to demonstrate that the hardworking citizens of this country have a powerful voice in Washington, even if they still aren't being heard in the White House."
And your definition of Hardworking Citizens is????
Hope it include people that do not allows think like you; to be great President you will need to Govern for people that disagree with your point of view; Not talk and act as if you are at war with the opposition of your opinion or approach.
Some of us Hardworking Citizen actaully believe in numbers and Math. so talking with just emotion and skipping of the math do not fly; Lowing Taxes does affect the Deficit and raise the Debt, simple math.
It's idiocy that the Tea Party Exprress is planning an event that will likely drown out Paul Ryan, one of the most intelligent, well-thought, well-spoken, and influential conservatives in America today (much more so than Bachman). Their organization is the screaming, tantrum-throwing 3 year-old of the citizens' movement. Along with Bachman, they put their organization's own self-promotion above conservative causes which is why (even though I support the Tea Party) I will never support their organization. I will never support Bachman, either, for the very same reason. She's nothing more than a self-aggrandizing squawk-box as opposed to other more thoughtful conservatives.
Are people still pretending to be so naive that the Tea Party is anything but republican hacks who turn a blind eye to their own party's earmarks while criticizing ONLY democratic spending? Because that's what has been happening already. They already turned a blind eye to/made excuses for all the republican spending proposals.