Tea Party and GOP on the same page?
January 25th, 2011
08:37 AM ET
3 years ago

Tea Party and GOP on the same page?

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


Filed under: GOP • SOTU 2011 • Tea Party movement
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    I hope Bachmann and Palin run in 2012 – it will reveal to the people of this country how dangerous they are and insure another 4 years of Obama. An intelligent, thoughtful, well-spoken representative of the *majority* of this country. Not these fringe fanatics who don't know our history, who speak without thinking and who are only out for themselves.

    January 25, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  2. rs

    Look- the "Tea Party" is a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP. Its political members are Republicans (Bachmann, Rubio, Palin, etc.). It is paid for by big business types (like the Koch brothers and their petrochemical empire) Whether they meant to or not, they unleashed the ubber-radical right fringe of America that embraces violence, radical economics and racism. The GOP will rue the day they embarked on a plan to tap such dangerous energy. It will be the undoing of the once fiscally conservative, socially moderate party of the 60s and 70s.

    January 25, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. Henry

    Oh, boy, Crazy Bachmann at it again. She sure knows how to fire up them GOP "sheep", you know, the dumbest sheep alive.

    January 25, 2011 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. ST

    What I can only ask GOP is: How is the change in your party of carrying the Tea Party along with you, working for you now??

    January 25, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Rob Johnson

    If Michelle Bachmann is your "Rock Star" you have a pretty crappy band.

    By the time she is done speaking, the Tea Party will be a national laughingstock, and we will all long for the intelligent and articulate discourse of a top-notch intellectual like Sarah Palin.

    January 25, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. realitybites

    Yay!!!! Yet another Sarah Sellout w/ a vitriolic, bitter concoction. Honestly, I think the tea bag is getting leached out. Is this an attempt to make another cup? I'm tired of TEA. Think I'll stick w/ Joe. It's more American!

    January 25, 2011 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    While they have a similar agenda, one is more moderate and sensible, than the other. The problem both have, is they have 2 aspects of their agenda, that are not in the mainstream, that are religious based, and that are unacceptable to America.

    Until they abandon those 2 agenda items, they will not have the favor of the majority, in spite of the disastrous financial aspects of the Dems.

    January 25, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. rusty155

    Michele Bachmann Is just as bad as Saran Palin they both make thing up as they talk. Half the thing Michele Bachmann say Is a lie. You people are just going too learn that the Tea party, Is run by the two brother that are rich and the two brother want too run the country. They are trying too run the country by getting enough people in the house and senate too control the their and get pass what bill they want pass. The Tea Party Is just like SARAN PALIN ,the Tea Party only care about the two rich brother and the Tea Party. It was nothing too do want American want.

    January 25, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. Indy

    Thankfully people are starting to see the Tea Party has no real agenda or viable solutions. The Dems should thank the Tea Party for helping all the lying bums back into the house where everyone can see that Republicans have no real solutions and are 100% Party before People. It is nice to see that there is some positive thinking going on in the country and the Tea Party is nothing without hate and negative speeches. People have had it with hate speeches and trying to go back in time to the dark ages and that is all the Tea Party has to offer, there is no forward thinking, nothing positive.The more positive the people are and the more respect they show for the POTUS the sooner the Tea Party will loose support.

    January 25, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Adalbert

    O yes, they are both singing the same obsolete song out of tune.

    January 25, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. New Age Independant

    Any bets that this thread will become full of liberal hate rhetoric? These people are responsible for the destruction of the Democrat Party. Perhaps one day, Democrats will see that these radicals are the most hateful group in the country and expel them.

    January 25, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  12. Marry

    The GOP has sat to long and let the TP “play” on a ground that even good Republicans (are there still any?) would not step on. The TP is all about incitement – not about solving problems. It just plays to the lowest common denominator. So, Ms Bachmann will have a feast. Let’s see who will sit at that table….

    January 25, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. informed voter

    That "same page" they are on will be a footnote in the history books regarding the downfall of the Republican party.

    January 25, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Robert

    Michele Bachmann is the Democrats best friend. Every time she opens her mouth, more people realize how unhinged she is and, by extension, how flaky the highly contrived Tea Party "movement" is. By all means, Michele, speak long, loud, and often.

    January 25, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. Mitch

    If Bachman is their rock star, the tea party is a very sad and pathetic movement that needs to set their bar WAYYYY higher.

    January 25, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Linda from Minnesota

    Michelle Bachman lives in a very conservative district in Minnesota. She does not represent what most Minnesotans believe in or think like. If she ran in my district, she would lose by a landslide.

    January 25, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Mike In NJ

    I look forward to a world that pits the likes of Ms. Palin and Ms. Bachmann against Mr. Obama. I have no worries about that meeting of the minds.

    January 25, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  18. video guy

    "hardworking citizens of this country have a powerful voice in Washington" This lady does NOT speak for this citizen.

    January 25, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    My guess is that Bachmann's response will critize everything that was said and say that government has over reached into everything. These people should come to the realization that they are Libertarians and join that party. Then again, the Libertarians are the ones who state what they want to cut. Republicans haven't done that.

    January 25, 2011 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Shari from Madison

    Heaven help us if these two parties decide to unite. One group of idiots is enough. Putting these two groups together is like putting dynamite and fire together.

    January 25, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Chas in Iowa

    I see this as an attempt to corral the religous right into the ranks of the tea party so the base GOP can continue it's march for corporate America up until election time 2012 when they will again circle the wagons for another election under a single banner of conservative values.
    Question is will the American voter bite again?

    January 25, 2011 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Nick San Diego

    Hm. Do I see a schism here ? That will bode well for Democrats as the established Republican Party attempts to control the extreme Tea Partiers.

    January 25, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  23. michael

    No specifics though – that would require some thought

    January 25, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  24. jheron

    Cantor's right, we do know Michell Bachmann...unfortunately.

    January 25, 2011 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Judy

    I believe Rep. Bachmann's additional Republican response is intended to provide a distraction from the content of President Obama's State of the Union speech, similar to the distraction Rep. Joe Wilson provided during President Obama's health care address in 2009. If the media focuses on this orchestrated split in the Republican ranks rather than on the main event, it will have fallen into the trap the GOP set.

    January 25, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
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