Potential Tea Party target Hatch will attend Tea Party town hall
February 7th, 2011
06:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Potential Tea Party target Hatch will attend Tea Party town hall

Washington (CNN) - Might he be thinking: If you can't beat them, join them – at least for a meeting?

Sen. Orrin Hatch will appear at the event, on Tuesday, that's being billed as the first of its kind.

On Monday, the Utah Republican tweeted: "I'll be joining @OurCountryPAC for the Tea Party Express Town Hall meeting tomorrow night."

That's all the more interesting given two facts: Hatch's name was not on the press release, sent out last week, promoting the event. And as Hatch pursues a seventh term, there's speculation that Tea Party activists may try to do to Hatch what they did to his long-term colleague from Utah: oust him.

Former Senator Bob Bennett's ouster from the Senate came partly at the hands of activists. His replacement is Sen. Mike Lee, currently a favorite of the movement. Lee's name was on the original event announcement.

Some Tea Party activists have leveled the same complaints against Hatch as they did against Bennett: that they're uncomfortable with Hatch's history of reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats.

Though the Tea Party Express can't speak for all the movement's activists, it has recently tamped down the idea that it will try to push Hatch from office.

The group's chief strategist has told CNN it has no plans to target Hatch.

"Hatch has been a good friend and a solid conservative," Sal Russo said. "He's been a good solid conservative vote in the Senate since 1976."

But Russo added: "We haven't made any judgments yet about any Senate races."

-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Orrin Hatch • Tea Party Express
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    ROTFLMAO – Really? If you can't BEAT them JOIN them???

    February 7, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. DAVE

    the tea party doesn't want any connection or work being done with any democrat even though almost half the country is democrats. the tea party dreams of a day that they will be able to " DICTATE" their direction for the country without half of the people having a voice at all. the tea party is all mouth and with no solutions that aren't slogans with no detail. hatch can join them because he will fit right in with his slogan type mouth with the same no solution answers!.

    February 7, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    This sentence in a nutshell tells you what these self problaimed koch brother right wing nuts are all about.
    "Some Tea Party activists have leveled the same complaints against Hatch as they did against Bennett: that they're uncomfortable with Hatch's history of reaching across the aisle to work with Democrats."
    In other words we only care about what we can do to split the country, the heck with trying to work together. A house/senate/country divided cannot stand.

    February 7, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |