Salon’s Walsh on Tea Party group’s feud: ‘A pox on all their houses’
Salon editor-at-large Joan Walsh said on Wednesday she had no preference in the fight between the leaders of the conservative group FreedomWorks — she wished ill on all of them.
“A pox on all their houses,” Walsh told MSNBC host Chris Matthews and Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn. “I’m glad they’re shooting at each other, and not at the rest of America.”
The group’s internal squabble, which started coming to light following the departure of founder and leader Dick Armey earlier this month, took another turn Wednesday when Corn reported that Armey brought a former member of his security team, Beau Singleton, to a September meeting, to ensure tensions did not spill over.
In a Washington Post account of the meeting published Tuesday, Singleton was described as “an aide holstering a handgun at his waist” who escorted FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and Senior Vice-President Adam Brandon off the premises. Armey also reportedly suspended other employees “who broke down in sobs at the news.”
Armey told Corn that Singleton, who is licensed to carry a firearm in a back holster, was no stranger to the group; in fact, Armey said, Singleton oversaw security for a 2009 FreedomWorks rally.
“I was unaware he had a gun [at the meeting],” Armey said. “The news looks like Armey came in there like John Dillinger, all guns a-blazing. That was false.”
The relationship seemingly only soured from there, with Armey taking an $8 million buyout in his departure, and Kibbe accusing him in a memo of attempting to take the Tea Party-affiliated group over and steer it closer to the GOP establishment.
But Walsh — who reminded Matthews of her 2009 run-in with Armey on the show — had no sympathy for either party, and called the Hardball host out for describing Armey as an “attractive” man.
“They’re all a bunch of grifters,” she told Matthews. “I love you and David to death but you’re both being way too nice to Dick Armey.”
Watch Walsh, Corn and Matthews dissect the FreedomWorks feud, as aired Wednesday on MSNBC, below.