Dale Robertson doesn't mince words. The tea party spokesperson and head of Teaparty.org in Houston issued a strong statement this week warning state GOP leaders that if they didn't support strongly conservative candidates, their jobs were at risk.
"We are turning our guns on anyone who doesn't support constitutional conservative candidates," Robertson said. "If they don't get that, and their party chairmen don't get that, they are going to be ostracized."
Jim Greer, Florida's GOP Chairman, was forced to resign earlier this week under similar pressure from far-right activists following his endorsement of Charlie Crist, a "big-tent" Republican who has been criticized by some conservative factions for being too moderate. Tea Party activists have backed Crist's opponent, Marco Rubio, in the upcoming Republican primary.
Crist has notably broken from the Republican party on a few key issues. He's supported green initiatives such as cap-and-trade legislation, and potential offshore drilling. Perhaps most markedly, Crist was a strong proponent of the stimulus bill, going as far as to hug President Obama while introducing him at a rally in Ft. Meyers.
"I think it's just all-around frustration with some in our party who have a very pure philosophy of how you should govern," Greer told the New York Times Magazine. "People want a common-sense approach to governing. And approaching it with purity won't get anything done."
Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, explains the Tea Party's latest offensive. "People in America are very tired of the irresponsible taxing and spending that has happened in Washington. They want a return to fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets."
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