Establishment over tea party in GOP leadership race
December 13th, 2011
05:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Establishment over tea party in GOP leadership race

Washington (CNN) - It was tea party vs. the establishment in a closely-watched race for an obscure Senate Republican leadership post - and the establishment won.

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a former top leader in the House and long time presence on Capitol Hill, defeated tea party-backed Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin for the fifth-ranking Republican leadership position in the Senate Tuesday.

The race between the two freshman senators drew wide attention with tea party activists eager to see if Johnson could win a seat at the leadership table, where key decisions about legislative policies, tactics and strategies are hammered out daily.

"I think it is important to have an independent voice, an outside perspective at the leadership table. That's why I ran," Johnson said.

The votes were cast by secret ballot during a closed-door meeting of the Republican conference in the Capitol. By tradition, the final tally will be kept private, senators said.

"I'm sure this was a very close vote. We're getting close. We just need more allies," Johnson said. "I don't want people getting disgusted or discouraged. I want them energized. I want to make sure they're staying involved so we can bring more people here in 2012."

Blunt said he was "grateful" for the opportunity to serve his colleagues and hoped to help Republicans win back the majority in next year's election.

The leadership post became vacant after Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee said he would not run to retain his third-ranking position next year. Other current members of the GOP leadership – Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming– moved up, leaving the fifth-ranking position as the only contested post.

Republicans will have to pick a new number two leader next year after Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona retires from the Senate and leaves his minority whip post vacant.

Filed under: Ron Johnson • Roy Blunt • Senate • Tea Party
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Hotpatata

    The leadership post is so obscure, in fact, that CNN doesn't even bother naming it in this article. Bang-up job, folks.

    December 13, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  2. bullock w

    I'm belived that tea party will be great also kick out of presdient obama cause he have too much problems his job for 3 year

    December 13, 2011 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Dennis B.

    In Wisconsin Ron Johnson hasn't been heard from since last years election. A disgrace to the office. A tea party hack at its worst.

    December 13, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. ibwon

    Hmm, Hopelessly Stupid or Plain ol' Greedy Pigs... Decisions, decisions....

    December 13, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. clint

    obama had a chance to be great cut spending get this country back on track he didn't shame on him worrt president ever 5t more in debt how can anyone support him

    December 13, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. encore

    that u lord for your blessing keep praying dem until all of those demon tea baggers out of lives forever.

    December 13, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. Showmeyerpapers

    Not only have illegal invaders slit the throats of the working man they are responsible for 75% of the crime here in denver radioreference dot com monitor police and ems frequencies for yourself they must have killed 250000Americans in the last 50 years look at lapd online all most wanted 95% spanic. I knew newt was the sh samich. I dont care if an illegal sailed with washington , REMOVE THEM! The states want the laws ENFORCED PERIOD! Theyll bankrupt EVERY STATE! LOOK AT CALIFORNIA FOR GOD SAKE! Mehico is a cultural catastrophe and our govt has helped them spread their societal ills across our great nation. We would have the highest standard of living on earth if it wasnt for the constant stranglehold on our economy due to the invasion and occupation of our soverign land. Look noone wants to break up families just be sure to get them all on the same bus with the anchor offspring seated up front. What about all the american families torn apart by the federal invasion policy in effect. The

    December 13, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Showmeyerpapers

    What about all the areas of our country where the standard of living is govt aid, where the american society has been utterly destroyed and unrecognizable. We once had the greatest nation on earth, now in so many places all we have is "the streets" depressed mehican varios or barrios as they are so proud to say. My once quiet street is now a mexexpressway . The clovis were here long before any mehicans or indians ever existed and they were WHITE. I say deport them all every single one of them, if theyve married americans send them along. Its time to go home and fix their rathole country and stop sucking us dry and preying on innocent americans! No american in their right mind could possibly vote for bari hellboy orama

    December 13, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. C. K. Justus

    Ron Johnson swore he never took federal money for his business, but when the truth came out, he had taken a 250,000 dollars low interest loan to increase his business, but even then he denied it, he is like all the so called "conservatives" they are liars and untrustworthy!!!

    December 13, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  10. C. K. Justus

    I hope I am still alive when his term is up for I will all in my power to defeat him along with my money if I have any left.

    I will go door to door asking for support for any different candidate.

    December 13, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. m

    Don't be too happy about Blount. He isn't all that forward-thinking.

    December 13, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Looks to me like all the money from Koch, Armey, and Rove can buy EVERYONE. Hopefully the baggers will be gone in a few more months. I'll do my part to vote them out.

    If they signed a pledge to Norquist, vote them out. Their pledge is to US.

    December 13, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  13. NoTeaForMe

    The defeat of a "Tea Party" candidate for an obscure Senate leadership post is a hopeful sign, but it isn't even close to enough to remove the tea stains from Old Glory!

    December 13, 2011 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. max

    the tea party failed. has the budget been cut? do we spend less?

    December 13, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. mk

    When will the tea party and the religious groups realize they are like a used paper bag to the central Repubs Party.Once you get them elected they laugh at you for believing what they promised you.

    December 13, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |

    WE must vote against any candidate that dare claim to be a tprty candidate. See what it got us before, a bunch or snivering,
    uncompromising floor crawlers. Let's not make the same mistake 2012.

    December 13, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. clint in seattle

    Obama had a chance to be a great president cut spending get this country back on track he didn't do it shame on him he blew it worst president ever

    December 13, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    Okay BLUNT – you will get smoked if you ACT like a tea-partier!! And forget WINNING anything to TAKE OVER anything in the future – That's OUT!! Wisconsin is GROUND ZERO and the Republicans there are in for a "rude awakening."

    Obama 2012 – Because it is the ONLY way to go in order to continue to Win the Future!!!

    December 13, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. broderick

    Hey GOP hey tea!! party!!I can't wait til your time is up hell is waiting for all of your EVIL ways!! Go obama 2012!! 4 more years!!

    December 14, 2011 02:54 am at 2:54 am |

    Buyer's remorse so soon America? They voted on In God We Trust. The GOBP wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 14, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
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