Dick Armey: Tea Party's Aims Misunderstood

Wednesday, 10 Aug 2011 05:01 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former House Majority leader Dick Armey said Tuesday tea party organizations are collectively not a political party, but a movement that is fighting failed Obama administration policies and pushing to keep skyrocketing government spending under control.
The Texas Republican also told CNN’s John King, he believes Gov. Rick Perry, who is considering a presidential run, is eminently qualified to attack the problems that plague Washington.
“Well, there’s a constant drum beat, a whining about the tea party as if it were a political party, you know, and people [need to]understand that this a movement in America about the essential policy requirements of America — the activists understood what needed to be done — a serious large change in spending in the direction of reduced spending, or you would not avoid a downgrade,” Armey said.
“That was validated by the action that was taken by S&P, and by the whole investment community, including the IMF, that’s warning America: If you don’t find some way in which you can reduce this government spending, and get not only the size of your government under control but your ability to manage your debt under control, you’re headed for serious trouble,” said Armey, now chairman of FreedomWorks, a prime force behind the tea party movement.
Armey told King tea party activists unabashedly confront the nation’s economic foibles and are fighting to eliminate those financial problems.

“And for these — those folks that want to live on easy street with other people’s money, it’s not a very popular movement,” Armey said. “But, you know, sometimes, you just have to be tough to straighten things out when a mess has been made.”
Switching gears, King then asked Armey what he thought of Perry — the governor of his state — possibly making a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
“We in Texas . . . we’re proud of our economy — how jobs are created,” Armey said. “We see the governor as being a man of powerful conviction to the strength of the private sector, understanding that [it is ] a source of prosperity and having policies favorable to it.
“And we think that our governor will be very competitive on the world scene and that critical area of getting the government under control so the private sector can grow and expand and get some jobs,” he said.

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