In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey issued a warning that Republicans risk being targeted by the Tea Party if they don't get with the program when it comes to signing onto fiscally conservative policy.
Armey -- who serves as Chairman of Freedomworks, a Tea Party organizing group -- made the threat in discussing a balanced-budget proposal introducing by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).
"The difference between being on -- a co-sponsor with Ryan and not is a thing called courage," explained the prominent conservative voice. "So we're saying to the Republican Party , you know, 'Get some courage to stand up for the things that are right for this country. Don't stand there and, and, and hide from the issue because you're afraid of the politics.'"
Armey went to underscore his bottom line: "The issue of public policy that governs the future of my children is more important than your politics, and if you can't see that, we'll replace you."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who made an appearance earlier in the Sunday morning program, lauded the rise of the Tea Party as "an indication of broad public support for doing something about too much spending and too much debt."
Despite recent reports on concerns that the growth of the conservative movement could create a rift within the larger Republican Party, McConnell regarded the fervor exhibited by the Tea Party as an "entirely positive" force for the GOP.
"I think it has been extremely helpful," explained the ranking Republican. "It's produced a lot of excitement in our primaries, and I think it's going to produce victories in November."