Tea Party Express names its election-year ‘heroes,’ ‘targets’
U.S. Representative Joe Wilson — the South Carolina Republican who last year screamed at President Barack Obama, “You lie!” — is on its list of “heroes.”
So is Republican Senator Jim DeMint, also of South Carolina, who’s leading a charge to repeal Obama’s landmark overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system.
The Tea Party Express, one of the most prominent groups in the conservative Tea Party movement, on Thursday wrapped up a 20-day nationwide tour with an event in Washington, D.C., where it formally announced its 14 “heroes” as well as 13 “targets.”
Amid homemade signs reading, “Hope doesn’t create jobs,” and “Congress, you’re fired!” — Tea Party activists vowed to help their “heroes” win in the November election and to work to defeat their “targets.”
The Tea Party Express is dedicated to opposing what it sees as the Democrats’ liberal tax-and-spend policies and to ridding the Republican Party of those it does not consider to be conservative enough.
A Tea Party Express spokesman, asked how Joe Wilson made the list of heroes, cited the congressman’s conservative voting record and made no mention of his yelling at Obama at a nationally televised address on healthcare last year.
While the Tea Party Express has made life difficult for lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle, all but one of its “heroes” — conservative, first-term Democratic Representative Walt Minnick of Idaho — is a Republican. And all of its “targets,” including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, are Democrat.
The Tea Party Express anointed one of Reid’s Republican challengers, former Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, a “hero” and endorsed her candidacy.
“At a time when politicians of both parties have betrayed the people’s trust, Sharron Angle is a rare gem,” said Bryan Shroyer, the Tea Party Express’ political director.
“Her impeccable record in office is consistent with the values of the tea party movement, and her conservative activism since leaving office has earned her the respect and admiration of Nevada Republicans,” Shroyer said.
For more Reuters political news, click here
Photo credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton (Tea Party activist in New York)