Donna Brazile: GOP Ignores Tea Party at Its Peril

Image: Donna Brazile: GOP Ignores Tea Party at Its Peril

Monday, 16 Jun 2014 07:19 AM

By Greg Richter

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Democratic strategist Donna Brazile says the Republican establishment should pay attention to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary loss on Tuesday.

"The tea party is still highly caffeinated," Brazile said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."  The tea party, she said, "is the energy inside the Republican Party."

Cantor lost to political newcomer and tea party favorite Dave Brat, an economics professor in Virginia's 7th District. Brazile said Cantor ignored tea party conservatives fed up with President George W. Bush's expansion of government.

"You ignore them, you ignore the base, and that's a problem," Brazile said. "And he ignored the base."

Most pundits have attributed Cantor's loss to his support of immigration reform, but Breitbart.com's Tony Lee noted that Brat's campaign had been mainly about linking Cantor to crony capitalism. It was when he started talking about amnesty for illegal immigrants that voters began listening to his broader message.

Others have noted, too, that South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has a similar stance on immigration as Cantor, easily defeated six tea party challengers without a runoff. Graham told ""Meet the Press" on Sunday that Americans favor some form of immigration reform and that Cantor simply failed to properly state his position.

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