Hatch Says His Goals Are Not Unlike Tea Party's

Wednesday, 09 Feb 2011 07:00 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Sen. Orrin Hatch doesn't want to follow his fellow Utah Republican Bob Bennett out of the Senate with the tea party hot on his heels.

So Hatch, who's running for a sixth term in 2012, gave the tea party a bear hug Tuesday night during what's believed to be the populist movement's first televised town hall. He has fought for years for the balanced budget amendment that tea partyers demand, he told them, and just like the tea party, he wants to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul.

What Congress needs, the Utah Republican suggested, is a fiscally conservative majority — not arbitrarily new blood.

In fact, Hatch, who's been in Congress since 1977, all but declared himself a tea partyer.

"We don't need a break," Hatch said, when someone suggested one during the 90-minute multimedia town hall session. "We might not look like much, but we're a tough bunch, let me tell you."

The tea party wasn't quite ready to return Hatch's embrace. The several dozen people crammed into the National Press Club's conference room were respectful, if not enthusiastic. They gave their loudest greeting to Rep. Michele Bachmann, the House's Tea Party Caucus chairwoman, when she slipped in at mid-meeting.

Hatch was the only one of five lawmakers who attended the televised and tweeted event who had not been explicitly endorsed by the populist movement that dominated the 2010 elections. Missing were other senators who could face a tea party-led challenge in 2012, such as Richard Lugar of Indiana and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

With Hatch on the podium were the faces of tea party change. Besides Bachmann was Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, a tea party darling who was one of two candidates who drummed Bennett out of office by besting him in a party convention vote. There too were Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, the first of several early exiters, and Reps. Steve King of Iowa and freshman Allen West of Florida.

But Hatch was the first of the five to arrive and the first to speak, his glowing terms a sign of official Washington's acknowledgment that the tea party and its libertarian-leaning agenda, however disjointed, moves election results.

Sharing the stage with the others during most of the 90-minute session, Hatch suggested he was a tea partyer before there was a modern-day tea party. He pointed out that with the late Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, he proposed a balanced budget amendment back in the 1980s and again in the 1990s, and stood ready to do it again.

Hatch warned that if the government can regulate healthcare, it can do "anything to you that it wants to."

"I for one want to thank the tea party for what they've done," he said.

But never did Hatch suggest that the tea party revolution had changed him. Moments after he brushed off the suggestion for a break, the five-term senator left the event to give a television interview.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Mali's Islamists Withdraw Cease-Fire Pledge

Friday, 04 Jan 2013 13:06 PM

Tens of thousands of Fatah supporters rallied in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza on Friday for the first time since they we . . .

Fmr. CIA Director Hayden: Iran Nuclear Crisis Gets 'Scarier'

Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012 18:11 PM

 . . .

Join Fmr. CIA Director for Special Iran Briefing, Assess the Danger

Friday, 13 Jul 2012 12:27 PM

 . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved