Tea Party and GOP on the same page?
January 25th, 2011
08:37 AM ET
4 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. Blake

    The GOP and Tea People are fighting for the same turf – the uneducated, easily led lower middle class that would rather trade good government for the illusion of a chance to be in the 2% who run and own this country.

    January 25, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Nick

    She is a nobody and doesn't stand a chance.

    January 25, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Ronald Reagan, despite having, in private, a certain amount of disdain for the televangelists like Falwell and the rising "moral majority," nonetheless saw an opportunity and courted that voting block, which was statistically significant in sweeping him into office. That was the original marriage of the religious right with the GOP. Now the GOP has done the same thing prostituting themsleves to the Tea Party, whom they first didn't care for but saw the anti-Obama enegy the group esposed as useful, so the GOP hitched their wagon to that group, too, albeit initially reluctantly. The choosing of Bachmann for tonight's response shows that the Tea party now controls the GOP, and the GOP is afraid of it the same way they fear Rush Limpbrain. In doing so, the GOP is losing the rest of us.

    January 25, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. fayse

    I find it very interesting that the Tea Party are constantly using the parts of the Constituion that they like but seem to ignore the part that they do not want to honor. The 14th amendment is as much a fundamental right as the right to bear arms. I guess it is much the same as picking and choosing Bible verses. The use some and ignore others.

    January 25, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. john

    I can't wait for her interpetation of the State of the Union. Just saw her clip on CNN about slavery and the constitution. Wow. Minnesota is so proud of their educational system. What happened to Michelle? Did she take history? Didn't pass history? Didn't like what she read so she changed it? How about Bauchman Palin in 2012? Idiotocracy!!!!

    January 25, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    It is my sincere hope that the tin foil hat contingent of the once great Republican party embarrasses them enough to give them some humility, some respect, a dose of reality around what happens when they lie and misrepresent the facts in order to get what they want. As far as I can see, the Tea Party might as well be McCarthy chasing Communists... It seems to me that the things they say they want are in conflict with each other, and certainly not the best for "We The People."

    January 25, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Joe

    The Tea Party is a "movement", not a political party at this point. Bachmann giving this address may serve to divide the GOP. Clearly the Tea Party movement is NOT taking orders from anyone, rather they are following and promoting their own ideals and principles. Good for them.

    January 25, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. The unsub

    Let the chaos begin. The reality is that the people thought that electing Reps. and Tea Baggers was going to change things for the better, when it has amounted to "business as usual." These guys/gals don't know what they're doing!

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

    This Tea party political stunt is nothing but a joke. I wonder if they really understood what the founding fathers beliefs were. Did they forget females and blacks were never allowed to vote back then? It’s another thing to criticize policies but another to be a complete hypocrite when some of the benefits this people enjoyed are slated to be slashed to cut cost. Backman is just another Sarah Palin an opportunist that doesn’t really comprehend what it means to govern

    January 25, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    If Bachmann is the "Rock Star" of the Tea Party movement, it doesn't bode well for the future growth of the GOP. Bachmann will never attract voters outside her base of conservative supporters with her constant barrage of fiery and inflammatory rhetoric.

    January 25, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. w l jones

    The Democratic party got the Tea party and Republican party on the run, It appears they cannot get out of each other way.....>way>>>....<<<<

    January 25, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Margie

    Strange is correct. Everything she does is strange but then we from the North of Minnesota can't understand why the poorest and worst off area of the state continues to elect a person who does ABSOLUTE NOTHING to help them. All she does is run around the country trying to improve her celeb status. She could care less about Minneapolis area that elects her. But then that's why the republican (at that time) gerrymandered the district. They wanted to make sure they had and could keep a republican district. Bachmann will always be strange.

    January 25, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Bob in PA

    We finally get a representative in there that actually seems to be listening and maybe making a difference.
    Let her speak, Amen !

    January 25, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Shannon

    It sounds to me like the Tea Party wants it both ways. They want to be able to tell the GOP what to do, but they don't want they GOP (or anyone else) telling them what to do. In other words, for the Tea Party, its their way or the highway (sound familiar?).

    January 25, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  15. Patrish

    ... called Bachmann a "'Rock Star' of the movement."

    You know people what they say about Rock Stars ' fun to watch, but not to big on brains'. I have no doubt that the Tea Party's 'me first, me right' attitude will muck things up in Congress so little gets done.

    January 25, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. rusty155

    I think Michele Bachmann response to the state of the union Address Is Improper, because the Tea Party Is NOT a Political Party. They are only two Political party , the Republican Party and Democrats Party. They should be the only one able to response two the speech of the President NOT the Tea Party with Is run by two rich brother trying too control what bill get pass. The Tea Party people always say it time too take are Country back, The only thing I don't understand no body as this Country Accept American people so who are we taking this Country back from are self.

    January 25, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. PalmReader

    "Does the Republican Party speak for the Tea Party? Or is the Tea Party message to the GOP: "You don't speak for me"?"

    Not sure who they each speak for, nor do I care. Suffice it to say neither group speaks for me, thank God ...

    January 25, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. Dnick47

    Let the two "Mad dog" GOP'er groups tear each other to pieces..... neither one has a clue on what RREAL Americans need from their government.

    January 25, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. brian

    Being that the Tea Party is at best an alternative version of the GOP and at worst and extreme side of the GOP, I can't help but think of the comments from the right we'd hear if we had a Democratic response and then a "Liberal" response.

    January 25, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  20. Freddy

    I love it! It's the "Extremism Olympics!" Let's see who is further to the right, who will take our country further into the past, who will more quickly dismantle programs so many Americans depend on, who will adhere to a ultraconservative manifesto, regardless of the consequences to the American people.

    Let the games begin!!

    January 25, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. The reality is...

    Bachmann, Mickey Mouse, at this point practically anyone would be better than Liberals/Progressives. Anyone with 1/4 brain knows the road we've been on is that which has caused our decline – the road of moral decadence, that is. Not that some conservatives don't embrace the same garbage but, by far, the L/P's are the forerunners.

    January 25, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. GODZILLA1

    The split between the GOP and the TP is already evident. The dueling responses will only highlite and aggravate it. I fully expect Sarah Palin to make extensive comments as well and so too Rush and Glenn.

    January 25, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. Coloradomom

    When will the parade of idiots stop? I remember when it was the Democratic party that had a slate full of jokers. It's the Republicans turn now, I guess. I am so tired of intelligence not being an important factor anymore. When did it stop being an extremely important factor in our leaders? So sad....

    Our front gates are being guarded by idiots, China.....come on in and take over.

    January 25, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Jack in Florida

    I guess not!! Is a Tea Party response to tonights speech an indication of third party? Bachmann is attention deprieved, so any chance she can put her face in the media, she jumps at it. Come on MN, you can do better......

    January 25, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. marrissa turner

    And like most "rock stars", she couldnt pass a high school history class! When, oh when, are we going to start holding the people who make LIFE ALTERING decisions – on OUR behalf – to a higher standard!? Or at least the standard we hold to anyone receiving a high school diploma! This woman ACTUALLY believes all men were treated equally when this country began? Or that our forefathers were venomously against slavery when most were slave owners? Or that john q. Adams WAS A FOUNDING FATHER???? Geez, she got elected to public office in a country she doesnt accurately know the history of?????? Shouldnt we want more, people?

    January 25, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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