July 9th, 2010
07:23 PM ET
13 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. lost in Texas FOREVER

    I guess the only way if you're a Republican to see the Tea Party for what it REALLY is has to be when you lose due to their antics. I still say the TP might be the best thing that the Democrats and Independants could have asked for. The more these people come into the mainstream away from FoxNews and their other protections the more regular thinking people can find out what they are dealing with.

    July 9, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Donnatella

    I agree with Bennett, I know people want Harry Reid gone, but you really have to think of the alternative, that Angle women is out of her mind, she has real issues, I can't believe that could not come up with a better candidate.

    July 9, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. jim

    Another incumbent politician that can't face the fact that people are sick and tired of politics as usual in D.C. and want to throw all the "bums" out !! Take it like a man Bob and shut you mouth.

    July 9, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    You can't blame the Tea Party for illustrating that the real difference between some republicans and all democrats is only the speed toward the socialist state.

    July 9, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    can someone help me please?? didn't this guy get whacked by the Tea Party and is now out of a job?? seems like democracy in action. So you trash the people who defeat you. This guy has a future in the dumbocrap party

    July 9, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |

    tick tock GOP. Not that the Dems ever can capitalize...but the GOP had a gift and could have won more seats...but they still insist on hanging on to their old ways of lying and outrageous falsehoods.

    People have the internets now...we can see thru your BS folks....

    July 9, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. ugogirl

    Way to predict senator. Senator Harry Reid has done a lot for the American people especially in Nevada! I say Nevada lets keep
    reid in and out with the rhino and party of no! You see this was just
    God doing for him to win again! Go Harry Reid ugoboy!

    July 9, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. scott from MICH

    Tea party stands for nothing except Let's be Angry and hate every1 who isnt like them.... They act like this is 1776. Too make them happy – let's re institute slavery. End Soc Security. End working for racial and social equality. Let's agree the world is flat. Every man for his self... Get this in place and Maybe they won't be so Angry

    July 9, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Jess C

    If Angle wins; that sure doesn't speak well of Nevada's voters. How could anyone vote for someone like that? She's an absolute wack job and can't even hold a conversation at any level of intelligence. Where do people like this come from? Where are the qualified people?

    July 9, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. vwrtb

    More good paying jobs please... Who cares about anything else...

    July 9, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  11. Clark1b

    well Senator Bennet ... don't ask me to vote for Republicans to keep the Democrats from winning. You need to convince me to vote for Republicans because of their values and what they actually have done (not simply what they say they will do).

    So, either live up to the job we hired you to do ... or we will fire you.

    July 9, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. key

    The tea party candidates are not rational people. Their is no way these candidates can govern anything. There beloved Reagan could be a tparty member his good was Tip O'Neill a Democrat

    July 9, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. BeverlyNC

    For once I agree with Bob Bennett, the tea baggers are total lunatics and no sane American is going to vote for ANY tea bag candidate. They have incredible extreme views and absolutely no clue what is going on in the real world. What could they possibly offer the country when they are so clueless? Not one can talk about any issue. Every time they open their mouthes, even more crazy things come out.
    Sharon Angle is a lunatic who thinks the unemployed don't want a job because unemployment insurance pays more!! Obviously she has no idea how small the payments are.Angle thinks creating jobs is not her responsibility as a Senator. She's a true Republican because they are great at destroying the economy and destroying jobs. She thinks rape and incest are "God's will". Harry Reid is a great leader and deserves to be re-elected.

    July 9, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    Refreshing to finally here a Republican tell the truth about the direction of the party. It is what we in Maine would call a "Margrett Chase Smith Moment". Alas our two "moderate" GOP Senators have been nowhere on the record: even as the Tea Party has taken over their State Platform.

    July 9, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Da Professor

    Bennett is dead on correct!
    More and more, I see the Tea Party as absolute fools being led by extremists.

    Question – – – Who is paying for the Tea Party travel, meals, hotel rooms, signs and costly stuff like that? Time for a media exposure?

    July 9, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. DENNA

    If America puts the Tea Party in power, this country will end as a good place to live for others. These people hate, and hate big time. They sat quietly by like dumb sheep while Bush dragged this country down the rabbit hole. Now, suddenly, they are up in arms. America is doomed. I wonder which Rethug will be the next Richard Nixon?

    July 9, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. Lynn M.

    I agree with Sen. Bennet. We need real ideas and practical solutions, not incendary slogans and retoric. This might not make for the most exciting candidate, but I would prefer to have somebody who is more interested in doing the jobthe voters hired them to do. When these people get into office they are supposed to represent thier entire districts not just thier party members.

    July 9, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  18. steve white

    Harry Reid IMO is a leader of dome for the US he is for one world goverment,one world money He is part of Obama Deception Let up stand for WE THE PEOPLE

    July 9, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  19. shamgar50

    Even some Republicans are starting to see Teabaggers for the nutty mob they are!

    July 9, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. JonDie

    We can only hope that Bennett is right and that the backward-looking, anti-progressive morons who favor chaos and anarchy will drive the GOP to its demise, even if only temporarily.

    July 9, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. Augsbee

    Wow, I had forgotten Sen. Bennett is old also and Reid, Pelosi old, old, old school, old habits. All these people are really trying everything to avoid retirement. There is no way that any of these old Senators can represent a society that went into a computer age, technology age, they don't understand the world as it is today. It is impossible for them to keep represent us the people.

    July 9, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. Albo58

    Hey RINO, don't let the door hit you on the way out...Git!

    July 9, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    These guys tow the party line until they lose a primary, then they speak the truth. Why not before?

    And as far as that strategy goes, sir, cutting taxes, trickle down economics, etc. Well, all I can do is ask everyone other than the extremely rich: How's that working out for y'all?

    July 9, 2010 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. Keith in Austin

    Spoken like a poor loser! Hey Bennet, time to get a real job like the rest of us! You'd be a perfect candidate to clean pidgeon feces off the Mormon Tabernacle!

    July 9, 2010 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. Augsbee

    And another thing, this old politicians are at the same level as the people who are currently unemployed simply because they have no computer skills to accomodate to the standards of today's jobs and these Old politicians would not comprehend, know that the large unemployment is also due to the fact of the lack of Technological skills. How can they represent us properly if they don't understand how different the world is spinning thanks to Technology advancements.

    July 9, 2010 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
1 2