Tea Party Promises Primary Challenge to Chambliss

Thursday, 03 Jan 2013 01:06 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Tea Party — furious that Sen. Saxby Chambliss voted in favor of the fiscal cliff bill this week — says the Georgia Republican can expect a vigorous primary challenge in 2014 in a bid to kick him out of office.

“I can tell you I live in the state of Georgia and Saxby Chambliss is going to be primaried. Our own senator,’’ Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer told CNN.

“It's unacceptable to have somebody who votes with the Democrats more than they do with the conservatives, and he has proven time and time again he's all about the spending.

“We're a red state, we deserve a conservative senator, a conservative senator that would stand with Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and Mike Lee who all voted 'no' for this bill.’’

Chambliss has roiled tea party members for his bipartisan work on issues from immigration to reducing the debt, according to The Hill.

Kremer’s vow comes on the heels of conservative blogger Erick Erickson’s threat to mount a primary challenge against Chambliss.

Chambliss said last week he was more concerned with making the right choice for the country than sticking to Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, which he signed before being elected to office.

“Back in December of 2008, I wrote that Chambliss found himself in a runoff because he sided with every bad compromise from immigration to energy to the farm bill to the bailouts,” Erickson, a Georgia native, told CNN.

“Whether it is me or someone else, conservatives should make beating Saxby Chambliss their chief cause in primary season 2014.”

He said the only reason conservatives supported him when he ran for re-election that year was to prevent Democrats from achieving a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate.

In an interview with WMAZ-TV in Georgia, Chambliss was one of the first Republicans in Congress to dismiss concerns about violating Norquist’s pledge.

“I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge,’’ he said. “If we do it his way then we’ll continue in debt, and I just have a disagreement with him about that.”





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