Tea Party is still partying
When the Tea Party candidate Dave Brat, who had little name recognition at the time, ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Republican primary last month, the nation was reminded that the Tea Party hasn’t left the party yet.
And so when the three candidates vying to represent the region in the 3rd Congressional District came to The Columbian’s newsroom, the editorial board asked what they thought of the Tea Party.
Here’s what they had to say:
U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas:
“In our district? In our region? I still hear people on a daily basis say, can you get the government out of our backyard? Can you help me by staying away from me so I can start my business? Can you get out of my healthcare? So, I still think that idea is alive and well. And these probably are people who wouldn’t say I’m a Republican or a Democrat, but the ideas behind the Tea Party, at least in this district are still going strong.”
Republican Michael Delavar:
“Yeah, Tea Party is an interesting term because what’s the definition? You ask 10 people, you get 10 different answers. Generally speaking – taxed enough already, government is too big, get them out of our lives. Yeah, that’s what I’m hearing consistently across the district and fidelity to the constitution is a very, very strong theme within the Tea Party. Do I like that? Oh yeah, that’s singing my tune. I have found incredible activists, low-key grassroots activists all over the district, who align themselves with the Tea Party and I’m asked frequently, are you a Tea Party member? And usually I go down the whole business of trying not to pigeonhole myself into somebody’s specific vision of what the Tea Party is but yeah, I would say we’re natural allies.”
And Democratic candidate Bob Dingethal:
“You know, I think the Tea Party is extreme of course, but I would defend their right to be extreme, to the death. And I think there are people on the left that are equally as extreme, they just don’t have a catchy acronym for a name and they don’t have a cohesive group. So it’s sort of always been there, I think it’s probably causing more problems for the Republicans than it is for the Democrats right now … But this sort of thing has always happened. I mean, we had Ross Perot and George Wallace and the Green Party and that sort of thing. So I think it’s sort of politics as usual.”