Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) says that some tea party candidates lost in 2012 because leaders of the Republican Party did not stop them from saying “dumb things.”
Armey, who recently agreed to step down as the head of FreedomWorks for an $8 million payout, on Monday suggested that former Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and former Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock had lost because the Republican Party had not taught them to keep their controversial opinions about rape to themselves.
“We had a lot of candidates, quite frankly, that did dumb things out there,” he told CBS host Norah O’Donnell. “Once the candidate wins the primary, becomes the Republican nomination, the Republican Party has an obligation to that candidate. I don’t think the Republican Party schooled their candidates very well or supported their candidates very well.”
“We had at least two candidates that should have won that frankly lost because they said some stupid things on a subject that their party’s leaders should have schooled them to stay away from in the first place,” Armey added. “So to lay this off on tea party activists across the country, I think is just Alibi Ike on the part of the Republican Party.”
The former House Majority Leader insisted that the tea party was not holding back Republican leaders from agreeing to a budget deal with additional revenues to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
“Not at all,” he explained. “The tea party is not a political party. It is a group of people across the country that have a commitment to a set of principles. They believe economic growth is the first, most important need of this country. Which means, get the government to stand down, quit interfering, quit obstructing growth in so many ways, not the least of which is the EPA.”
Armey also said that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had the “toughest job in town” because he was stuck between Republicans who were divided in the House, “a dysfunctional Senate” and a president who refused to show “negotiating vigor.”
Watch this video from CBS’ This Morning, broadcast Dec. 10, 2012.