POLITICS

Richard Mourdock, Tea Party Candidate, Not Quite Sure How Tea Party Started

08/17/2011 02:47 pm ET | Updated Oct 17, 2011

One of the more interesting downticket races to watch is the GOP's 2012 primary for the Indiana Senate, where six-term incumbent Richard Lugar is facing off against Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Recent polls indicate that Lugar is in jeopardy of losing what's been an extraordinarily safe seat. And, for an added bit of intrigue, the Lugar/Mourdock rivalry has divided the loyalty of Indians Gov. Mitch Daniels, whom both men claim as a supporter.

Mourdock, like a lot of GOP insurgents, has run under the banner of the Tea Party. However, if that's something he wants to continue to do, he might want to bone up on his preferred version of the Tea Party origin story. When he made an appearance a few days ago at the RedState Gathering in Charleston, S.C., he botched it pretty badly. Fortunately, the audience was willing to clue him in (begins at 1:40):

MOURDOCK: You know sometimes history happens in unusual places. It happens and people don't even catch it in the moment. And it was that way in the spring of 2009 when a frustrated TV talking head by the name of Jim Cramer, who most of us had never heard of, went on an absolute rant like he had lost his mind and said, "Ya know we need to rebel again, we need to start throwing the tea in the harbor."

AUDIENCE: Rick Santelli.

MOURDOCK: And from that, Nick Santelli, I'm sorry ... that's alright ... Nick Santelli, thank you...

AUDIENCE: Rick Santelli!!!

MOURDOCK: Rick Santelli... He said the tea should be thrown in the harbor and no one took it too much at the time, but a funny thing started to happen all across the United States -- Tea Parties started to be born.

Yeah, Jim Cramer is a guy who everyone's heard of because he rants like he's lost his mind. Santelli is the guy who got commodities traders cheering on his predatory-lending denialism. Both are, in many ways, "frustrated," so Mourdock got that right at least.

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