November 8th, 2010
06:13 PM ET
12 years ago

GOP Rep: 'Palin cost us control of the Senate'

(CNN) – Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus told a local Chamber of Commerce group last week that the candidates backed by the Tea Party and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be to blame for the Republican Party's failure to take back control of the Senate in last week's midterm elections.

"The Senate would be Republican today except for states (in which Palin endorsed candidates) like Christine O'Donnell in Delaware," Bachus said, according to the Shelby County Reporter. "Sarah Palin cost us control of the Senate."

Bachus was speaking at the monthly luncheon meeting of the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce just one day after Republicans won sweeping gains in the U.S. House, but fell short of taking back the Senate from Democratic control.

But on Monday, a Bachus spokesman seemed to walk back the Alabama Republican's comments.

"Congressman Bachus, like other political observers, said that seats in states like Delaware and Nevada could have been won by stronger candidates and that's a lesson going forward," said Bachus spokesman Tim Johnson.

"As the article noted, he was extremely complimentary of the Tea Party movement and Governor Palin in crediting them with the great turnout of conservatives that led to many of the successes on Tuesday," Johnson said.

A staffer for Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, defended Palin on Twitter on Monday, though she declined to mention Bachus by name.

"Is it Palin's fault for Rossi not winning his Senate bid? Or Raese, Fiorina, McMahon, Buck, & Angle (who she didn't endorse in the primary)?" SarahPAC's Rebecca Mansour asked, adding, "Sarah Palin didn't cost the GOP the Senate. We were nowhere near winning control of the Senate. Deal with it Beltway GOP."

In his remarks, Bachus noted the success that many Tea Party-backed candidates had in House races, but said Senate candidates "didn't do well at all."

Tea Party candidates across the country often faced resistance from their party establishments, who feared that the political newcomers might not fare well against their Democratic opponents.

A CNN analysis found that 11 out of 21 House candidates affiliated with the Tea Party movement were elected on Tuesday. Three races involving candidates who have the support of the Tea Party are still undecided. Five out of nine Tea Party-backed Senate candidates won their seats, with just one race – Alaska's race between Tea Party favorite Joe Miller and GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski – still undecided. The Democrat in that race, Scott McAdams, conceded last week.

- CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon and CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney contributed to this report

Updated 6:57 p.m.

Filed under: 2010 • Sarah Palin • Spencer Bachus • Tea Party movement
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. The Big J

    In the speak of the GOP: They're already eating their unborn! The weirdos have taken over the asylum. We're doomed!!!!!

    November 8, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Ken from San Antonio

    He's right. Palin did cost the Repblicans a Senate majority. He can also blame Jim DeMint from South Carolina.

    Thanks to them the Dems will be back in full force.

    November 8, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. ken

    Being the party of no clue and no new Ideas cost the GOP the senate, and the job killing chamber.

    November 8, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Stan the Man

    Now, now. Let's play nice with the Tea people, they're running your party after all.

    November 8, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  5. Lynn

    We can only hope they will keep her on.

    November 8, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. John from S.FL

    Republican politicians are a disciplined herd who always listen and follow the party line.
    Democrats and liberal politicians think for themselves and do not follow the party line.
    It is to be expected that republicans can claim with a serious face they want to reduce the deficit
    while keeping taxes low for the top 2%, considering this will further cost us $700B. It seems
    cognitive dissonance does not affect them at all in this regard - or in similar matters:
    a) they hate the "government takeover", but didn't care about the erosion of civil liberties after 2001.
    b) they hate "government healthcare", but love Medicare. Huh ?
    c) they want "small government", but wake up they actually need FEMA, CDC, FDA in case of an emergency.
    d) they complain about legislative pork, but brag to constituents when they bring it home.
    Under recent Republicans rule, the government grew and the deficit ballooned, but in the wrong direction – doing wars
    and saving banks. Hello people, wash your brains !

    November 8, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. Charlie from the North

    Wow now there is an angle I had not considered. Thank you Sarah Palin. BTW I would not blame Sarah if she saw it differently. As much as I disagree with her I think she delivered big time for the GOP. Maybe he is trying to distance himself from the tea party.. well good luck with that.

    November 8, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    Blah, blah, blah. There's going to be a lot of that for the next two years – which will go FAST – and NOthing is going to get done!!! The RepubliCAN'Ts are battling within themselves and that "Pledge to NOwhere – is just that!!!

    The Tea Party caused the LOST – Sarah is part of the Tea Party – And you know what? You AIN'T seen nothing yet!! 2012 is going to be NOT GOOD for the Repubs because the TEA PARTY is going to spoil it – they're already making DEMANDS for GOP to move right – or step to the REAR!!

    This is T'sah – OUT of Campaign MODE – N2 MOVING AMERICA FORWARD with or without the GOP and definitely with our President!!!

    November 8, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. BeanerECMO

    Bachus just can't stand strong women. He knows he's haning on by a thread, but he may have just cut it. One can just picture him saying, "Lurleen, git back in that there kitchen and get me some grits!!"

    November 8, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  10. Brian

    The GOP is perfectly capable of costing themselves elections – they really don't need to pin this one on Sarah Palin. And that may be the closest I get to defending that bimbo.....

    November 8, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    A silly, unsubstaintuated remark. Without the excitement genrated by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, there would have been much smaller gains in the House.

    November 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. Denny

    Palin does strike many, including confirmed conservatives like me, as an extremist who is seriously underpowered when it comes to demonstrating a grasp of what it takes to govern the nation. I see someone who didn't finish her term as governor of Alaska, instead resigning what? Provide daily drama to stay in the public eye? Please, let's have serious people only compete for leadership. The Palins are reality TV.

    November 8, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Philippe Laporte

    The problem is not the Tea Party. The problem is politicians like Sarah Palin who use the Tea Party to promote their candidacy. Spencer Bachus is right. Sarah Palin wants to be a candidate at all costs. After a "talk show" president like Obama, we don't need "reality show" president like Palin.

    November 8, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. Liz the First

    Wow! never thought i'd be thanking Sister Sarah for anything, but if she did keep the evil empire from taking the Senate, she's just done the only good service to this country she will ever do. keep up the good work, Sarah! keep pushing the wingnuts no sane person could vote for.

    November 8, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. pjoesmith

    The Tea Party and the inept Democrat Party is the only reason Republicans won anything. Bachus sounds like a whining RINO with those comments, and maybe he needs to go.

    November 8, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  16. anthony

    Let the in fighting begin.
    Let the slow implosion of the Conservative Right begin,
    Let Palin's ego now steer the course for her running for President in 2012 against the GOPs wishes
    Let the Tea Party flame out and the Republicans be exposed for taking control without bringing absolutely any solutions to the table,
    while adding another two years of campaigning vs governing while the country's middle class becomes an endangered species...

    See you in 2010 folks (or maybe not)

    November 8, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  17. Drew

    Oh my ... he'll be kicked out of the club if he doesn't craft his apology very, very carefully.

    November 8, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  18. Saxo Grammaticus

    Being a Tea Partier requires magical thinking to a degree that cannot be sustained for long. The basic assumption seems to be that government can be scaled back because the things cut out of it will always only affect other people. Since this is obviously impossible, there is bound to be some correction fairly soon. Palin's band of idiots seems to particularly susceptible to these delusions.

    November 8, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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