Tea Party to Old-Line GOP: Let the Battle Begin

Upstarts face 'club' in battle over big government
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Nov 4, 2010 2:44 AM CDT
Sen. Jim DeMint arrives to a cheering crowd in Greenville after he's declared the winner in his re-election bid.   (AP photo/The Greenville News, Gwinn Davis)
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(Newser) – Tea Party candidates may have rattled the Democrats, but it's the old-line Republicans who could be in for a shellacking now. The upstarts heading to DC are already eying targets painted on the backs of GOP legislators out of step with their small government policies—such as Utah's Orrin Hatch and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas, notes Politico. Those friendly with the Tea Partiers, on the other hand, are enjoying a huge boost in popularity. "People in the Senate have been in touch with me to try to figure out ways in which we can have a better working relationship,” said Tea Party supporter Rep. Dick Armey. "All of a sudden, I'm a matchmaker."

Tea Partiers are determined to avoid being seduced by pork-barrel strategies, according to leaders. "The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy," warned fervent Tea Party supporter Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who cruised to reelection. But, he adds: "Tea Party Republicans were elected to save the country—not be co-opted by the club. So put on your boxing gloves. The fight begins today.”

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