Major tea party group hops into GOP Senate fight in Missouri
March 22nd, 2012
09:29 AM ET
10 years ago

Major tea party group hops into GOP Senate fight in Missouri

(CNN) - A leading national tea party group is jumping into the Republican Senate nomination battle in Missouri.

The Tea Party Express, in an email release Thursday morning, announced they will endorse former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, kicking off a two-day roll out in St. Louis, Springfield and Kansas City.

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"One of Tea Party Express' top priorities in 2012 is to elect a conservative majority to the U.S. Senate, and we are confident that Sarah Steelman is the candidate in Missouri best suited for the job," Tea Party Express chair Amy Kremer said in a statement.

Following the Tea Party Express announcement, 17 Missouri-based tea party groups put out a statement saying the California-based group does not speak for them and they are not backing Steelman.

Steelman's main competitors for the GOP nomination are Rep. Todd Akin and former Germ-X chief John Brunner. The winner will face-off in November against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is running for a second term. Two of the top non-partisan political handicappers, Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg, rate the general election race a toss up.

The Tea Party Express, known nationally for its numerous cross country bus tours the past few years, has also become a player in GOP primary politics. In the 2010 midterm election cycle, the group backed conservative candidate Joe Miller in his successful GOP primary challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Murkowski ultimately defeated Miller in the general election when she ran as a write in candidate.

The group also assisted Mike Lee, who defeated incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah in the primary process and won in the general election. They backed Christine O'Donnell in her upset of establishment Republican Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware in that state's GOP Senate nomination in 2010. She lost in the general election.

This cycle the Tea Party Express endorsed Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who is challenging longtime Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in the state's Republican primary. And they're backing Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning in that state's Senate primary battle. Republicans are hoping to capture the seat left vacant by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson. Tea Party Express also endorsed former Solicitor General Ted Cruz in Texas and State Treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio.

The group co-hosted a first ever tea party Republican presidential debate with CNN in September in Tampa, Florida.

Filed under: 2012 • Claire McCaskill • Congress • Missouri • Senate
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. diridi

    This nation can not afford Tea-party idiots, nor their thinking of where is Russia, right on my roof-top ideology. Their spectrum of thinking is "WAR" with Iran. Nonsense.

    March 22, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Mikey

    Ah, the Tea Party express – that corporate and uber-wealthy funded "grassroots" "populist" movement. Gotta LOL.

    March 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. Mikey

    Wait, where's the Fox News logo on the bus?

    March 22, 2012 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    This nation cannot afford the Tea Party. Their positions and policies do not serve the majority of people in this country. If I didn't know any better, I would declare them as pawns of the 1%. I still might.

    As much as conservatives wish to blame the credit downgrade on liberals or Pres. Obama, the facts are undeniable. The US economy had been scraping itself off for two years without any credit downgrade issues. No problems until the Tea Party came to DC with their reckless rhetoric about how it is okay to default because nothing will happen. Well, we came close to defaulting and something did happen. Something bad.

    March 22, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The anti government baggers are people who have been used Fox foreign owned media, the Kochs, and the extremist teavangelicals. They need to be removed from elected office.

    March 22, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Jess C

    Anyone got a big bucket of nails?

    March 22, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. What Now

    I know everyone has a right to their beliefs and opinions, but I find this group very disturbing and scary. Their actions contradict what they say. They shout smaller government, yet they think it is okay to make policy and laws that promote their personal choices with no regard for others personal choices. Tolerance made this country great, somehow they have forgotten that message.

    March 22, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Expat American

    If/when a Republican President takes office – I wonder what will happen to the Tea Bigots? I think they will somehow magically disappear. Hmmmm.

    Or maybe Rick Perry will turn their bus into a Jesus Express Hot Dog Cart and take his naked cowboy act on the road.

    March 22, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Wake up people

    These people really scare me. And I don't scare easily. They claim they are Christians, but they come across as an idiotic hate group.

    March 22, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. Don

    "Tea Party Express also endorsed former Solicitor General Ted Cruz in Texas"...............You can bet Ted Cruz will get my vote!

    March 22, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Expat American

    Tea Party = Get your sheets and funny hats and hide behind your bible.

    March 22, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. JOHN

    I agreed everyone have their right to opinion. However its with great importance that the TEA PARTY is STOP! IF these people get control of both the House and Senate this country is in grave danger!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    The teaparty bafoons are history in the Nov elections.

    March 22, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Surprise, surprise, surprise! Well looky here, the Tea Party is alive and well. Who were the libtards in here that were saying they were history? Far from it, it seems. Must have been wishful thinking on your part.

    Looks like they itchin' to continue their Democrat toss from 2010! Enjoy the boot Democrats!!

    March 22, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. DIANA

    These people are scary. They came in promising jobs and the only thing they've done is wage a war on women and try to set us back at least 50 years. Where are the jobs?!

    March 22, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  16. Hawk in texas

    I have it. lets hold a tea party and throw all these idiots in the ocean. wasen't that what happened before?

    March 22, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Looks like the Tea Party received marching orders from Ayatollah Limbaugh.

    March 22, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. mike

    The Republican / Tea Party brings out the worst in people. Our local Tea Party leader said god told her we do not need to protect the Mannatee. It's nuts like this that want to run our great Country. I think not !!!

    March 22, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    has anyone seen the fracas that has happened in both St. Louis and Kansas City suburbs with the GOPers and their so-called caucuses there? In one instance the police had to be called to break up altercations. And no these were ALL REPUBLICANS. LOL Now throw in the Tea Party and it's going to be a bigger mess. The poor GOP has totally lost it's way, but I must admit is IS fun to watch.

    March 22, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Does the Tea Party Express remind anyone else of the historical "Carpetbaggers"?

    March 22, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  21. george of the jungle

    These are really scary people with off the wall ideas. They say No to big government but ok to the kind of intrusive policys they believe in . My way or the highway is their anthem. Vote them all out. Super pacs support these nut jobs.

    March 22, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |