Boehner fears Tea Party, Reid says
April 4th, 2011
08:51 AM ET
11 years ago

Boehner fears Tea Party, Reid says

(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is maintaining his tough rhetoric against the Tea Party movement, saying that House Majority Leader John Boehner fears the grassroots organization.

"The answer is yes," said Reid when asked if he thought leading Republicans were "afraid of the movement." "The Tea Party is dictating a lot that goes on in the Republican leadership in the House."

Reid made his comments Sunday on "CBS's Face the Nation."

The Nevada Democrat also suggested the group is widely disliked beyond conservative circles and added, "the Republican leadership in the House has to make a decision: whether they are going to do the right thing for the country or do the right thing for the Tea Party."

Reid then took a swipe at the group's sparsely attended rally Washington, DC, late last month.

"They didn't have thousands of people there, they didn't have hundreds of people. They had tens of people," he said. "The Tea Party is not looked at very strongly across the country – the only attention they get is in the House of Representatives."

It's not the first time in recent weeks Reid has taken direct aim at the grassroots movement that was responsible for unseating a string incumbent Republicans and replacing them with members sympathetic to their anti-government spending movement.

Late last month he told reporters that the "country doesn't care much about the Tea Party," and that the Republican Party should not shackle itself to the conservative movement's demands regarding cuts to the federal budget.

"The Tea Party's unpopularity continues to grow," Reid said then. "Because the American people sees how unreasonable they are. So let me reiterate my hope that the Republican leadership recognizes they can't continue to be pulled to the right by the radical, unrealistic, unreasonable…faction: the Tea Party."

A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll indicated 32 percent of the public has a favorable view of the Tea Party movement – down five points since December – while 47 percent have an unfavorable view, up four points from December.

Filed under: Harry Reid • John Boehner • Tea Party
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. DaisyinNY

    Tea Party= "grassroots movement that was responsible for unseating a string incumbent Republicans and replacing them with members sympathetic to their anti-government spending movement" Does anyone else find it hilarious that an ANTI-government group ran for seats in the government? I mean really how anti-government can you be while working FOR the government? hahaha!

    April 4, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    Stating the obvious Harry...but it's true. The Weepy Man from Tan is deathly afraid of the lunatics. They don't care about anything but THEIR opinion and will drag the GOP into the toilet by doing so.

    April 4, 2011 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Clwyd

    The tea party will eventually lead the republicans to their defeat and loss of second party status!

    April 4, 2011 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. Just Sayin

    Senator Ried, In order to do the right thing for the country, we need to ignore you as well. Unless of course you consider a state owned America the right thing! To use a liberal term, "we Cannot Sustain This Kind Of Spending".

    April 4, 2011 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  5. Debbie from Arizona

    I agree with Harry. Until the Republicans stop pandering to the far right Tea Party folks, nothing will get done.

    April 4, 2011 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Speaker Boehner should be quietly pleased that Maj. Leader Reid is willing to help take the wind out of the sails of some elected GOP officials. Mr. Reid continues to disappoint when it comes to political spin. Surprisingly, he made it on to the Sunday talks shows, so I must give credit where credit is due. I suppose Mr. Reid is too conservative to come out and say what really needs to be said.

    That being that the Tea Party does not represent most Americans. It it were, then it would be entirely within the realm of possibility that some of its' members might be and would be Democrats. The undeniable fact is that no elected Tea Party members are Democrats. The group has been designed by elements of the far right to perpetuate the false idea that the average American voters is a "center right". Poll after poll shows this not to be true.

    Sen Reid needs to realize that he is in the best position to debunk the spin, and counteract the extremists elements of the far right. Maybe he has realized it. Now he needs to figure out how to do it. Attack the misrepresentations of what "most Americans want".

    April 4, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. he's right

    If the GOP yields to the TP, then look for another purity movement to get even crazier on the right, the more refined TP crazy.

    April 4, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. GonzoinHouston

    They're highly motivated, and they're well funded from undisclosed sources, like the Koch brothers. They will run primary opponents against any republican who doesn't toe their far-right line, and in a primary, a motivated and well-funded minority can have an outsized impact.. Yes, Boehner is afraid of them, and rightfully so. They're going to cost him the Speaker's gavel in 2012 and he knows it. The democrats will hang the TP around the republicans' necks like Obama hung W on McCain.

    April 4, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  9. rusty155

    I wouldn't vote for any body back by the TEA PARTY and the KOCH's BROTHER. Mike Pence I'm from Indiana so If You want my vote you better not let me see you again with the TEA PARTY or you have anything to do with them. I know you are thinking of running for GOV. of Indiana, and if you stay with the TEA PARTY you won't WIN.

    April 4, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    " So let me reiterate my hope that the Republican leadership recognizes they can't continue to be pulled to the right by the radical, unrealistic, unreasonable…faction: the Tea Party."

    Oh but they will Harry, the Kock brothers have too much invested in that racist rage to let it go now!

    April 4, 2011 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  11. Jeff in Virginia

    File this under "Obvious"

    April 4, 2011 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  12. annie s

    Red growing a backbone? Hooray! Now if we can give one to President Obama we might actually turn the tide against these radicals who would drag America so far backwards that we'll cease to be a viable player on the world stage in this century. Progress, gentlemen, means sticking to your ideals, staying on message – and moving forward.

    April 4, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. Sonnie

    The Tea Party is much bigger than Ried can even imagine. It is growing by leaps and bound thru the internet. They have
    a growing unrest with big government and out of control spending and a do nothing congress that can't balamce the budget
    Yes harry old boy you are out of touch with We The People. Did not the last election tell you that?? Your spin on the tea party is just that spin.

    April 4, 2011 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    The Tea Party should be seen for what it is, an extreme fascist off shoot of the GOP. Fortunately the majority of Americans reject Tea Party agenda and bully tactics as detrimental to the political process.

    April 4, 2011 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. Seattle Sue

    I think Harry is probably correct about the Tea Party. The more they are exposed to the sunlight, the more their popularity drops.

    April 4, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Dave

    While I don't agree with Reid some of the time this time he is right.

    April 4, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Huh? Is Mr. Reid trading his silver tongue for a set of golden gloves? How out of character!

    April 4, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  18. Bob

    And of course the House leadership will come out in lockstep today to claim that Mr. Reid is full of it. They have to, or else they look and sound exactly as described.

    April 4, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Yoda

    The republicans leadership needs to decide if they are going to do what makes sense or if they are going to act like puppets on a string dancing to the Tea Party's tune. This "how high?" response by republicans every time the Tea Party says "jump" only hurts them with independent voters who are the real election power brokers. In other words, the republican leadership needs to grow a pair.

    April 4, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. FM

    Boehner must fear the tea party. They are the ones who put him in power, and they are the ones who will pull him out.

    April 4, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  21. Hhhmmm...

    So the red headed stepchild of the GOP has gotten out of their control and is now free to run amok in the political playing field. What I call poetic justice and the end of the two party system.AMEN.

    April 4, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  22. ABM

    All of the GOP are afraid of the TEA party. And why? Why do they have more sway than the other 90% of the US population. The reason is simple they are angry that there is a new regime the changed the face of the presidency forever and they want to go back to the good ol days. I hope the rest of the nation sees this and returns the favor in kind by showing up at the pols and wiping out every single Tea-party backed candidate. The shift to the insane right is not good for this country. And I am not a liberal – I am just someone who uses common sense.

    April 4, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Fred

    Good old Harry Reed should fear the Tea Party!

    The end of Big Government is over!

    April 4, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  24. LegendRx

    Harry Reid is so on point!

    April 4, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. Ernie

    If Harry Reid would have been defeated in November 2010 by a "Tea Party" candidate, no one would be hearing from him.
    But he did win, and now he is pounding his chest and showing everyone he beat the "Tea Party" candidate. Harry Reid should be very careful on what he says. Everything he says will come to haunt him. When he is no longer Senate Majority Leader let's see how big he talks. Harry Reid right now is acting to confident and he is not going to listen to anyone. Harry Reid should be verry careful on what he wishes for this is going to be his last hurrah he just doesnn't know it.

    April 4, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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