November 8th, 2010
06:13 PM ET
11 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. Lisa P

    Tea Party vs. GOP. I can hardly wait for 2012 when the Democrats win back full control from the squabbling hoard of thieves and idiots, but in the meantime there will be much amusement as the American people come to figure out just what it is they have foolishly elected to run the House of Representatives.

    November 8, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. WBN

    If it wasn't for Sarah Palin, there would have been no "juice" at all in John McCain's presidential campaign, no Tea Party at all (which is composed of all kinds of average Americans who relate to Palin's honesty and conservatism), and no conservative resurgence in teh House and Senate this past election. The few "moderate" Republicans that lost because of Palin would have been the only ones elected if Palin and the Tea Party had not energized conservative voters acrooss the nation to get involved again!

    November 8, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. Eduardo

    Like Palin the Tea Party is all fluff and no substance, all sauce and no meat (including moose), "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" but the dumbing down of American chickens come home to roost. Heaven help the USA!

    November 8, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    Congressman Bachus, like other political observers, said that seats in states like Delaware and Nevada could have been won by stronger candidates ...

    Like what, people who are lunatics? Republicans won because the Democrats didn't do a good enough job of getting the word out on their accomplishments – keeping our country from free-falling into a full-blown Depression brought on by Republican economic policies is one, for starters.

    Republicans stirred up folks' fears and played on their ignorance – and hoped that loony-tune candidates like Angle and O'Donnell would somehow win. Palin endorsing them shouldn't have come as a surprise, given she's the biggest flake of them all!

    So cry your tears, Bachus, and and then backtrack when Limbaugh calls you on the carpet.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for your Party not only bereft of ideas, but bereft of people possessing any character or a shred of honesty.

    November 8, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. gate

    And as a moderate, centrist American, I thank her for it. We need more sanity.

    November 8, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Riley

    HE's a sore looser because he will not be a committee chariman due to his weak congresional record as a conservative.

    Palin has only helped the republican party,

    November 8, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Well, what did you expect, Palin cost John McCain the lost of the presidency. You dumbos.

    November 8, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Brian

    Keep up the good work "Painlin", us Democrats love the fact that most Americans do not believe that you are qualified to be President.

    November 8, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Mark

    Arizona will be the first blamed for giving us Harry Reid back!

    November 8, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Guest

    Absolutely. Come on. O'Donnell, Angle, and especially to think that Angle was running againt Mr. Popularity – Harry Reid.

    And her next trick will cost the GOP the Presidency in 2012 if she even gets close to nomination. Does someone have a zipper the size of her mouth?

    November 8, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Which is it Congressman- Palin gave you the House or cost you the Senate- she cannot have done both.
    Even in elections where the most inane cadidates where up for election, they received a lot of votes.
    Frankly had it not been for Palin, Rand Paul would have been seen for the out of touch, crazy man with no knowledge of the Senate he is. She gavew him press he would have never gottenand would have faded into the abyss he should be in now.
    So stop whing and start thinking of us- the citizens of thie s country.

    November 8, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Uh Oh!!

    i'm not even a republican and i'm definately not a fan of palin but i would say you lost the senate because the american people want checks and balances and not for one party to have total control of a branch of goverment. Man talk about getting greedy. remember this is about the people not about party this time around right repubs??

    November 8, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. ex-republican cause of palin

    I believe he said it and with all my heart I hope people start talking from their hearts on how bad for the country Palin is. Please let this be the start of the end of having to hear her horrible voice, she stirs up so much hate . I know she is suppose to be a Christian, but the Bible says to pray for those in authority, like President Obams, instead of lieing on him and keeping the hate so stirred up. Can we not start a petition to get her to go away or stop people from reporting on her, nah, I guess not.

    November 8, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. New Age Independant

    Of course Liberals will still say that the Tea Party movement is a republican thing, despite the facts that stare them in the face. Their message isn't just for Democrats, it's also for Republicans. There are many in both parties that the country could do without.

    November 8, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. Moderate

    Oh stop crying. If she picks right, you support her, she picks wrong, you blast her, fact is she's your's. So kiss and make up!

    November 8, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. Jake

    Palin may have cost the Republicans the Senate, but she has cost the entire country our dignity.

    November 8, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. Sue

    Yeah for Bachus, the only one that seems to call it like it is......until the Republicans start standing up to the Tea Party and Sarah Palin and putting them in their place (which isn't in the White House).....I will continue to vote Democrat.......

    November 8, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. Clwyd

    She not only cost you control, but she and many of her candidates were down right idiots. Now with Murkowski possibly winning in Alaska and her buddy Miller losing I doubt that she will even be as welcome in her own state. She is a moron and needs to be stopped if the party is to be successful!

    November 8, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. John from S.FL

    It's really hard to say whether the Tea Party candidates were at fault. On one hand they energized the white old/male conservative voters and on the other, they kept away independents, who had more weight than in a non-midterm election.
    It's always funny to see how Repub politicians backpedal and apologize after *daring* to criticize in any form the Tea Party movement or people, such as Palin. It's a humbling experience for them to apologize at all ! Keep it coming !

    November 8, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. mary225

    Here comes the part where the Republicans throw Sarah under the bus and Swift Boat her.

    November 8, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Chuck Anaheim

    Just like everything that COULD be truthful coming from the mouth of a republicant, they turn around and change what they said a couple of days later.

    November 8, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  22. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    Absolutely true. Palin and the Tea Freaks kept the victory small by pushing extremists. A quick review of the history of third parties proves that the Waterloo of the Tea Party will be in 2012.

    November 8, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. they call me "tater salad"

    Don't stop there..........That brain-frozen arctic airhead also cost you the White House back in 08..........Glad you could join us!

    November 8, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Patrick from Minnesota

    If Mr. Bachus iis right, that'll be one of the few things I'm glad Sarah Palin did.

    November 8, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. jules sand-perkins

    I think that Rep. Bachus is correct.
    In zealous enthusiasm for conservatism–especially fiscal rationality–TEA Party activists inevitably made a few mistakes, such as the women nominated in Nevada and Delaware.
    However, one must balance the positive contributions of TEA Party members against some rookie errors.
    Sarah Palin, herself, is a massively constructive force for a return to what is good in conservatism.

    November 8, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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