July 9th, 2010
07:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Bennett warns of Tea Party 'mischief'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/08/art.bennett.jpg caption="GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah warned against Tea Party 'mischief' on Friday."](CNN) – A Republican Senator predicted Friday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is likely to retain his Senate seat despite a challenge from Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.

Utah Sen. Bob Bennett made his prediction during an interview with the Associated Press, and added that the GOP may also falter in other competitive Senate races in Colorado and Kentucky.

"With the Tea Party creating the mischief that it is in Colorado, we may not win that seat. My sources in Nevada say with Sharron Angle there's no way Harry Reid loses in Nevada," Bennett told the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, Bennett failed to garner enough Republican support at the state convention to appear on the primary ballot, ending his bid for a fourth Senate term.

During his re-election campaign, Bennett was targeted by both national and local Tea Party groups; groups the Senator is now warning may be causing "mischief" that will contribute to victories for Democrats in November.

"That's my concern, that at the moment there is not a cohesive Republican strategy of this is what we're going to do. And certainly among the Tea Party types there's clearly no strategy of this is what we're going to do," Bennett told the AP.

But despite his concern about the Tea Party movement, Bennett did point to one race in which a candidate favored by the Tea Party groups is being brought into the fold by the larger GOP establishment.

"Rand Paul – that's a seat we could lose in Kentucky, but McConnell seems to be helping stabilize Rand Paul and pulling back from some of his more dangerous statements," Bennett said.

Friday's remarks are not the first time Bennett has been critical of the Republican Party. In June, after failing to secure his party's nomination, Bennett remarked that that he found "plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas."

Bennett expanded on that theme in Friday's interview, comparing the current political atmosphere to that of the Vietnam era.

"In those days they were willing to give up on America from the left, and in these days there are too many people willing to give up on America from the right," Bennett said. "I don't have that sense of despair, which worked against me in the campaign, because they said we want more passion out of you – passion being we want you standing there screaming about how horrible everybody is, along with the talk show hosts that are screaming how horrible it is."

Filed under: 2010 • Bob Bennett • Harry Reid • Rand Paul • Tea Party movement
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Brian Dodge

    Republican Energy policy – "drill, baby, drill"
    Republican Foreign policy – war on terror, "kill, baby, kill"
    Republican Fiscal policy – "cut taxes on the rich & let the wealth trickle down"
    Republican Environmental policy – "drill, baby, drill"
    Republican Gulf Cleanup plan – "it's Obama's fault"
    Republican bipartisan Governing plan – "vote NO"
    Republican unemployment plan – "lazy spoiled Americans need their benefits cut so they will go out and get the jobs that are available" (courtesy of Sharron Angle)
    Republican Social Security plan – "privatize' it on Wall Street

    July 9, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  2. Michael

    The Republican Party, anno 2010:
    Old-school establishment (Priority number one-and-only: protect the fortunes of the super-rich at absolutely any cost) versus the new-wave neo-cons (take every play from the Nazi Party playbook – Big Lie, smear tactics, distract the masses, glorify ignorance; incite fear and loathing until the public is either foaming at the mouth or too afraid to say stop).
    Vote Democrat – it's the only chance for the American Dream to survive.

    July 9, 2010 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  3. snow

    inglis and bennett both voted for TARP against the wishes of the people they are supposed to represent and that is why they will not be returned to DC. Their claim about the Tea Party and Governor Palin are only smoke screens for them not doing what they were elected to do.

    July 9, 2010 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  4. Remember the Alamo

    You're so wrong stupid Bennet. There is no way Reid will ever win his seat back.

    July 9, 2010 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  5. NYT:"during this election cycle big oil has paid 12.8 million in contributions, 71% to Republicans"!

    "That's my concern, that at the moment there is not a cohesive Republican strategy of this is what we're going to do. And certainly among the Tea Party types there's clearly no strategy of this is what we're going to do," Bennett told the AP.

    Would you take another sip of he GOP prune juice and just keep quiet, Bennett.

    Without the daily dose of GOP juice, some reality is beginning to seep in around the edges.

    Stop it NOW!

    Palin/Bachmann 2012!


    I just hate when lucidity starts to overpower senility, especially in old elephants.

    July 9, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  6. George of the jungle

    The tea party movement will be the down fall of the republican party. Far right wing nuts with no ideas only nasty comments have turned off half the voters in this country. We have heard enough. While you make your nasty comments the rest of us are looking for new ideas and leadership.Dishing the president does nothing to endear you to us. The few republicans that have tried to work in a bipartisan manner have been cut off at the knees. This will only work so far then it will all back lash on you. Tired of No tires of name calling and lying. Give us ideas and co operation. Think about this country and the people not the next election .

    July 10, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. sickof republicanphonies

    Former repub rep. Inglis (defeated by teabag fave) making a lot of sense in his recent comments and now Bennett telling it like it is, too. To bad it takes getting beaten and tossed from office for a republican to speak the truth.

    July 10, 2010 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  8. ronaldmiller3@verizon.net

    i agree with bennett,i know that nevada is a gambling state but i don't think that they would to gamble on angle a loose cannon out of touch with the rest of the world,i'm not to fond of harry reid but in this case he is the lesser of two evils.

    July 10, 2010 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  9. Don

    OMG! Good call, Senator! These people in the Tea Party are blindly taking our country to a dangerous place; don't keep quiet about them! One thing that is bound to shut them up is revoking the broadcast licenses of people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and like minded hate-spewers! I find it ironic that they call themselves Christians; yet, they hate all that Christ preached. A good amount of stuff spewed is downright racist, elitist, and sacreligious! Jump ship and save yourself from that crowd, please.

    July 10, 2010 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
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