April 15th, 2010
08:07 PM ET
13 years ago

Armey warns against third party politics

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/15/art.armey.getty.jpg caption="Former Majority Leader Dick Armey said Thursday that the Tea Party movement is a force to be reckoned with."]Washington (CNN) - Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey said Thursday that the Tea Party movement won't be fading away any time soon.

"I think they're already a force to be reckoned with," Armey said in an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King. "They have maintained a very consolidated commitment to the big issues of our time."

But the FreedomWorks chairman warned there would be consequences for conservatives if third-party Tea Party candidates siphon votes away from Republicans in 2010.

"In New Jersey, if you take a look at the third party candidate in that race, that candidate had polling numbers going into the election week, that had they met on election day, would have assured a re-election of the incumbent liberal Democrat," he said.

Asked to reflect on 1994, when he helped usher in an era of Republican majorities in the House, Armey said GOP successes were owed in large part to the "Contract for America" and a feeling of unease with the Clinton administration.

And he warned that the same feelings are on the rise again.

"It was a year of massive anxiety on the part of the voters at large. And they were looking at the Clinton administration saying, 'Oh, my goodness. What are they going to do to my country?' That level of anxiety today while the same is larger than it was with the Clinton presidency," he said.

Armey added that House Minority Leader John Boehner and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor are the right leadership team to guide Republicans heading into November.

"This is not the leadership team that broke your heart three years ago," Armey said. "Those folks are gone. So you need to probably be a little more generous in giving these guys a chance to - to demonstrate where they are."

Filed under: 2010 • JKUSA • John King USA • Tea Party movement
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Blue

    Yeah, come on Armey, let's have a thitd party.

    April 15, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yeah, the Tea Party aren't republicans... They just happen to support nearly all republicans, oppose all democrats, have their events co-organized by republicans, invite republican speakers, and have their funding come from a republican consulting firm. Sure, they aren't republicans...

    April 15, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  3. Perusing-through


    Dick is the primary idiot that started the Tea Party. But now that the Tea Party is threatening to elect their own political leaders like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, Dick is threatening retaliation against the very Tea Party he started if they don’t elect traditional GOP leaders. What a jerk. 🙁

    April 15, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. chill

    The Tea Party is just another guise for Republican right wingers. They're all concerned about the deficit, but then they support the Borrow and Spend GOP. At least Tax and Spend Dems are paying their way.

    April 15, 2010 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. Joseph B

    Dick Armey should know – he has been funding the Tea Party since inception.

    April 15, 2010 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    A force like Ron Paul, I wondered what happened to that revolution, but us Democrats have our "Tea Spoilers", AKA Ralph Nader.

    At least Nader fights for consumer rights, Tea Party idiots are fighting for the insurance companies that are overpricing and denying medical treatments to them, talk about a group of idiots...

    ...why don't you guys cut your noses to show your face who the boss is too....

    April 15, 2010 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Translation: Wow I thought riling up the ignorant racist right wing would pay some dividends by making things difficult for Obama but I had no idea they would get so riled up as to start complaining about us Republicans. The Tea Party was, is and always will be an astroturf movement for the Republicans. Now all of you people in crazy costumes with your misspelled signs, just get in line and vote for all the straight line, old guard Republican hierarchy like you're supposed to. Then on the off chance we gain power, we'll go back to ignoring you and kowtowing to our corporate masters. Love, Dick.

    April 15, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  8. Ruty

    Keep it up. Keep it up losers.

    April 15, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. Nostradamus

    Tea Party is Repugs divided by two. Simple maths.

    April 15, 2010 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  10. vlj in mn

    Boehner and Cantor are "the right leadership"? Yikes!

    April 15, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. Michele

    If Armey thinks Cantor and Boehner are the 'right team," the party is really in trouble.

    April 15, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  12. Mike in NYC

    So what has the GOP done for whites, their most loyal, and gullible, constituency? Other than stand by while demographic change works its magic and ushers in the New America - not a whole lot.

    The grievance blocs of the Democrat base are certainly hostile to the natural interests of most white Americans, but self-serving and disloyal white "conservatives" are more dangerous, and deserving of far more contempt. Maybe the GOP has to die, for something better to take its place.

    WINO = White in Name Only. See above pic for a shining example.

    April 15, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. bigboxes

    I'm white, 43, Texan, and well-educated and Dick Armey and the Tea Party does not speak for me. This is the last thing the Republican Party needs to do (move away from the center. The Republicans were thrashed by the Democrats in '08 because they were too far right of center. This only makes their tent smaller. Don't do it guys!

    April 15, 2010 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  14. Dee Dee Lynn

    If there's any doubt that the so-called "Tea Partiers" are nothing more than a bunch of upper-middle class and rich people trying to take advantage of all the perks of living in the US without having to pay for any of it, they need look no further than the "Tea Party" financier, Mr. Armey himself.

    These are not patriots. These are selfish, self-serving people who want something for nothing and who are having a fit because the last election did not go their way.

    They may be a force to be reckoned with but they are a force that opposes the fundamentals of democracy.

    April 15, 2010 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  15. waiting

    Tea Partier "-cost of being an American-Rv,color,-acreage-SS-Medicare-guns , bank account,and lies,lies,lies!"

    Unemployeed-" cost of being an american-Job search, denial, hope,change!"

    TeaParty " Revolt, revolt.revolt !"

    Common sense " if you lose this war, where you gonna go-China!"

    China " All American revolters can come here–bring secret documents" Average salary only $ 7000.00 but free health care!"

    April 15, 2010 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  16. Mike K

    That Dick Armey's such a folksy feller. Look at the hat. He's just a regular Joe. Not a millionaire plutocrat pulling the strings behind the scenes. No way.

    April 16, 2010 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  17. Brian - Seattle

    Translation: I'm really just using you to keep power in the republican party.

    As much as I disagree with the Tea Party's views on the issues, actions by people like Dick Armey I'll never support. He's basically using them for his own political goals. Hope in the Tea Party people see his true colors soon.

    April 16, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. Carmelle

    Whatever, you knew exactly what you were doing! You are a bunch of republican lobbyists taking advantage of misinformed Americans to fight your battles!!

    WHERE IS YOUR INDEPENDENCE TEA PARTY MEMBERS???? You end up voting the ones who really created this mess!!!

    I guess the system won again.....suckers.

    April 16, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  19. Bob True American

    The repulicans are nuts, all that needs to be said.

    April 16, 2010 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  20. Funny man

    Dick Armey is a Neo-Con. It just goes to show you he doesn't understand that we want people like him out of politics.

    He thinks he can tricked these folks into the same George Bush trap. No more liars and cheats, no matter what party they are in. We want all crooks to get out.

    April 16, 2010 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. Texas Doc

    Yeah, you need 'em to make you look tough, then you run like scared cats when the rubber hits the road. Lying bastards. The Tea Party IS the Republican Party. Good luck guys.

    April 16, 2010 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    You've got no one to blame but yourself, Dick. You're the one, along with Roger Ailes of Fox, who started this movement and have been financing it all along.

    The truth of the matter is you and everyone in the GOP leadership know that you can't run on your track record of tried-and-failed economic, military and foreign policies. You certainly can't run on facts and encouraging people to think for themselves.

    So all you have left is to stoke the passions of the ignorant, racists, hateful and divisive elements of our population, hoping they'll do your dirty work, all the while forgetting how you have always screwed them.

    I can't decide who's more pathetic: those like you who lead these yahoos or the yahoos themselves!

    April 16, 2010 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  23. angela

    I think dick armery is an

    April 16, 2010 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
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