Hatch showdown? Tea party activists knock on GOP's door, literally
June 27th, 2011
01:18 PM ET
3 years ago

Hatch showdown? Tea party activists knock on GOP's door, literally

Washington (CNN) – Will it spark an altercation between tea party activists and establishment Republicans?

On Monday, leaders and supporters of FreedomWorks - a major tea party sponsor - will make an unscheduled visit to the offices of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the group that helps elect Republicans to the Senate. And the activists will deliver a message to the NRSC: butt out of the Utah senate race.

At issue: Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch's re-election to a seventh term in 2012.

As FreedomWorks works to deny Hatch an eighth term, the group is infuriated that the NRSC will work to keep Hatch in office. Adam Brandon, a national spokesman for FreedomWorks, laid out to CNN what activists intend to do during their Monday visit.

"At about 12:30 p.m. [EST] today, our Utah [members,] probably about 15 of them, will be joined by about 30 others of the tea party activists and they're going to storm the [National] Republican Senatorial Committee and ask them to stay out of Utah," Brandon said. He added: "Because they've thrown in with Hatch."

FreedomWorks' Washington office is just blocks away from those of the NRSC. And the NRSC has said that Sen. John Cornyn does support Hatch's re-election.

When asked if he expects any altercation during the visit, Brandon said, "I wouldn't call it an altercation. But usually when you do something like this, they don't want to talk. And our guys will get a little steamed that someone won't come down and talk with us. Then eventually someone will."

"One thing that this movement does is, we travel where the battle is. We run to the sound of the gun," Brandon added. "This is probably Orrin Hatch's worst nightmare. This race is probably going to get nationalized."

The group feels Hatch - who has a history of working with Democrats - is not a strong enough conservative and recently launched a "Retire Orrin Hatch" campaign.

Russ Walker, FreedomWorks' vice president of political and grassroots campaigns, recently told CNN: "Indeed Hatch's body of work proves he cannot be trusted to consistently adhere to a fiscally conservative agenda and possible primary challengers like Representative Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, give conservatives in Utah and around the country a great opportunity to trade up."

Aware of the coming visit, NRSC Communications Director Brian Walsh would not criticize it or the activists.

"We respect their views just as we respect the views of others who are strongly supporting Senator Hatch's re-election, including [conservative radio talk show host] Mark Levin and C. Boyden Gray who is the co-chairman of the FreedomWorks Foundation Board," Walsh said in a statement. "But as Vice-Chairman of the NRSC, few people have worked harder than Orrin Hatch to help Republicans win back the Senate next year and Senator Cornyn is proud to support him."

Yet Hatch's campaign manager was far more blunt.

"Well that's interesting, they say butt out of the Utah race. Yet a week ago they came to the Utah Republican convention with a bunch of out-of-staters to try and tell Utahans what to do," Dave Hansen told CNN. "The Utahans were telling them: we know what we [want.] We can handle this ourselves in state."

"This is organized by a bunch of Washington, D.C. special interest groups to try and get some media," Hansen added.

Stressing that Hatch has been a "conservative his entire time in the U.S. senate, Hansen said: "Sen. Hatch has represented the state very well. And he's campaigning very hard. And in the end he's going to win."

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • FreedomWorks • Orrin Hatch • Tea Party
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS

    The Establishment vs. The Lunatics

    June 27, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Bruce L

    I love it when the right fights with itself - personally, I hope it comes to baseball bats against broken bottles, and may each maul the other.

    June 27, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Mikey

    Go TP, go. Party like its 1523 !!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 27, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Jim

    Although I can care less for the Tea party I do agree with them on getting rid of a huge problem with our Government. All these old dinosaurs need to go. Fresh faces and minds are needed to get this country going again. The problem is every state says "it's not my Senator" They are all equally useless. Hatch doesn't need a 7th term. Hatch needs to go out to pasture!

    June 27, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. The Other Michael in Houston

    I almost didn't read this article. But I am glad I did. Are you kidding me tea baggers??????? What gives you the right to barge in someone's office and start making demands?????? And you idiots wonder why no one takes you seriously. It's really funny to see you whack jobs impose your warpped ideology on others but hate it when it is done to you. How about letting the voters of Utah decide who will represent them. And before you mouth breathers start labeling me as a "lib" I am far from it. I would love to see a decent Republican challenge all the democrats, in the Senate race, the House race and the Presidental race, the problem is the GOP has been hijacked by clowns like FreedomWorks, so what you have now is whack jobs like Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Gov Christie and others representing the "conservative" movement. I don't think that Mafia style tatics will get you far Tea Party. And I thought the Taliban were messed up in the head, you Tea Baggers make the Nazi Party and the Taliban look like chior boys.

    June 27, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. KatR

    This is absolute insanity. When special interests groups from all over the nation try to dictate choices for voters in one state it is completely nuts. But then, the Tea Party has been nuts from the get-go.

    June 27, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. John

    YES YOU REPUBLICAN KEEP LETTING THE tea party TELL YOU WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T DO , AND THE REPUBLICAN WON'T COUNT FOR ANYTHING. THE TEA PARTY IS A BUNCH OF CRAP. Why don't you Republican stand up to them ,they isn't even a real Party. That what wrong with the Republican Party now , your Party has chance so much you are losing people that been Republican there hole life. And I'M not the Only One that had done this and your Party will not get us back until you chance back. And start caring for all American people again .not just your special group of your.

    June 27, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Flint Rock

    What is a Utahan?

    Sounds like an illegal or a space alien.

    June 27, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Texas Doc

    Gotta love it. Bring on the Tea Party challengers. Honestly, America can't get enough of you. You need to be very clear and vocal about your agenda...everywhere.

    June 27, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Papel One

    The establishment, be it Republican or Democrats is at the root of our problems today. They have overstepped their bounds, overspent our money and are as corrupt as the day is light. Time for them all to go.

    June 27, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Mr Handsome

    Me thinks the Tea Party is out-kicking its coverage.

    June 27, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Thank God I am a Democrat

    I would rather a Dem win but if the TEA party doesn't like Hatch then he must be the next best option.

    June 27, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Ex-GOP Con

    The Bachmann and the TEA Party supposedly are defenders of the Constitution but they are going to use thuggery type tactics to push out people who want to run for public office? Guess what TEA Party! This is American and any one who wants to run for public office has the right to do so!.

    ==========================
    The right IS becoming deranged.
    ==========================

    June 27, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    There you have it people, these Tea party folks "run "to" the sound of a gun" because they are a violent group and if for one minute you think they aren't, support Bachmann or any other Tea party member and you'll find yourself looking down the barrow of their guns if you disagree. Yes, this hate group is alive, well and in disguise.

    June 27, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Your "Citizen's United" ruling at work. How many of you know who is the cash behind FreedomWorks? If you know, would you mind sharing with the rest of us. We would like to know who is running the Republican Party instead of the American people.

    June 27, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. C. Howe Yulikit

    The fact that Orrin Hatch, who is one of the most reactionary, right wing ideologues in the Senate is not "conservative enough" for these whack jobs shows you just how wacky they really are. His sin? Working with Democrats. This is institutionalized intolerance. The tea baggers hate America.

    June 27, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    The Tea Party Freedom Works activists are political thugs who intimidate politiicians who do not toe the ideological purity line. They should just stay out of Utah politics.

    June 27, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This little visit serves y'all right!
    This is the type of behaviour you can expect when you let the lunatics (Tea Party) think they are running the asylum.

    Knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door......

    June 27, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Wallace asked Palin if she were a flake:

    Emma wrote:

    I find it so funny how most of you react simply through the partisan lens...you really are quite superficial people. I saw this interview & was surprised at how Wallace asked the question. It was a valid question (are you a serious person), but he could have asked it in a much more professional way (the criticism of you is that you are not a serious person – what can you tell the American people to convince them you are serious?). I find it interesting that such a derogatory term was used with a female candidate. Would Wallace have asked Herman Cain if he is a flake? Or Ron Paul? Or Dennis Kucinich (back to 2008)? I think not. Here we go again with the media being condescending to a female candidate. This is Hillary & Palin all over again. Hard to believe more women are not offended by this question by Wallace, regardless of their political position.

    I'm a woman and I'll tell you what I am offended by honey and its NOT this question. I'm offended she had the ignorance to say to AA's and Hispanics that Obama has failed us. How DARE SHE. She stands with bigots and low life's who hold signs depicting our president as an ape and backs people who suggest OUR Michelle Obama be lynched. The list goes on and on with her. That's what I'm offended by. She's beyond a flake. She is a ignorant, low class underdeveloped woman who NEVER should have been allowed to produce ANYTHING. I personally did not vote for our president to take care of me. I'll do that myself as I am capable. I voted for him to undue the HUGE mess left by the Bush administration and to represent our country as it USED to be known BEFORE Bush tarnished it with his mishandling. So Missy I could care less about her being called a flake. When she apologizes to our president for ALL the nasty racist words she's used to describe him, I, in turn, will give her due respect.

    June 27, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Sorry, I hit the button to fast. This is a correction of what I was saying.

    I'm a woman and I'll tell you what I am offended by honey and its NOT this question. I'm offended she had the ignorance to say to AA's and Hispanics that Obama has failed us. How DARE SHE. She stands with bigots and low life's who hold signs depicting our president as an ape and backs people who suggest OUR First Lady Michelle Obama be lynched. The list goes on and on with her. That's what I'm offended by. She's beyond a flake. She is an ignorant, low class underdeveloped (brain) woman who NEVER should have been allowed to produce ANYTHING. I personally did not vote for our president to take care of me. I'll do that myself as I am capable. I voted for him to undue the HUGE mess left by the Bush administration and to represent our country as it USED to be known BEFORE Bush tarnished it with his mishandling. So Missy I could care less about her being called a flake. When she apologizes to our president for ALL the nasty racist words she's used to describe him, I, in turn, will give her due respect.

    June 27, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. sue

    These right wing conservatives think they can make this whole country CONSERVATIVE? Wrong.....with the conservatives you either have to agree and believe the way they do or your not a part of the party......well there are more liberals, and moderate liberals and moderate conservatives that do not believe the way the right wing conservatives do and we will show you in the next election.......and if these people are not from Utah they need to stay out and mind their own business.......

    June 27, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Al-NY,NY

    Love it. The T-tards know better than everyone. No wonder they are fading

    June 27, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Tony

    I am an independent but I would like to say to Republicans now is the time for courage. Remember you are the party that for the freedom of slaves and equality for all men. Tell this extremist you and America are not afraid of them.

    June 27, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Tony

    Sorry that is fought for the freedom

    June 27, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. rs

    Republicans will come to rue the day they created the Tea Party.

    June 27, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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