Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, charged in an exclusive Newsmax TV interview that “the GOP, the Republican Party, took the Tea Party issues off the table” during the 2012 election.
“They didn’t talk about Obamacare at all during the general election – yet, over 50 percent of the population wants this law repealed,” Martin told Newsmax nearly a week after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost the election. “And they were afraid to even mention the words ‘tea party’ at the Republican National Convention.
“They took us out of play – and now they want to blame us for their loss. You can’t have it both ways.”
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Looking back at last Tuesday, two Tea Party favorites, Florida Rep. Allen West and Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh lost their seats in heated races.
West, who unofficially lost by less than 2,000 votes after a partial recount in St. Lucie County, plans to challenge the results in a lawsuit.
“It’s really a shame that it appears that he’s losing the seat,” Martin said of West. “It’s very, very frustrating. His seat and also Joe Walsh’s seat are definitely losses to the movement.
“They’re fighters. They’re fighting for fiscal responsibility, they’re willing to stand up for their values – and that’s the kind of people we need to have elected to office.”
Like Sen. Ted Cruz, who won handily in the Republican stronghold of Texas. He ran on a Tea Party platform.
“Sen. Cruz is going to do a great job,” Martin said. “The Tea Party groups, they have really supported him. They feel like he will not waiver, he won’t be a squish – and he will stand firm. I’m looking forward to getting to know him and I hope that he does stand firm as we see how he governs in the next six years.”
But, reflecting overall on Election Day, Martin said, “At this point, we have learned we can’t depend on the Republican Party. So I’m not depending on the Republican Party to reach out to Tea Party groups.
“It’s going to be up to us to reach out to our friends and our families and our neighbors and make sure that those closest to us and those who vote in the same precincts as we do understand why we’re fighting this fight, understand why we’re standing up for fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limiting government.
“It’s going to be up to us,” Martin added. “We can’t depend on the Republicans or the Democrats to do that for us.”
Since the election, House Speaker John Boehner has pronounced Obamacare as “the law of the land” and has indicated some flexibility in negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff that is expected to occur at the end of the year.
Martin, however, is unimpressed.
“My thoughts are that Speaker Boehner shed a lot of tears when he took that gavel to become speaker,” she said. “He hasn’t shed one penny from our overall federal spending – and it’s time he starts acting fiscally responsible.
“He needs to realize that the American people just voted for status quo, they voted for gridlock, and they expect him to hold the line. And that’s what I expect to see him do.”
And that line is a federal budget that cuts government spending and does not raise taxes, Martin said.
“The right deal would be one that actually cuts the overspending. We haven’t seen Congress do this yet.
“In 2010, the Tea Party delivered the largest change in the House of Representatives in 60 years – and they haven’t even cut a penny yet. And, now, they’re backpedaling on a deal that they made 14, 15 months ago.
“They’ve got to stick to the spending cuts, and that’s where we need to see the most focus is with the actual spending cuts,” she added. We’ve got to cut the overspending, so we can work towards balancing our budget.
“Cut the spending, let free markets work – and when you do that, the revenues will automatically increase, because people will be able to earn more money and they’ll pay more from their income in taxes,” Martin continued. “But, no, tax increases are not on the table for us. They need to cut the overspending.
“We’re promised time after time after time that they’ll take care of these problems down the road. In August of just last year, they said, ‘Oh, we’ll take care of it with the super committee.’ And then when the super committee didn’t work, they said they’d take care of it with sequestration.
“And now, sequestration is upon them, and they’re saying, ‘Oh, well, maybe we need to change our mind again.’ They need to address the problem at hand,” Martin said. “And until they can do that, our country is going to continue to face some serious dark days ahead.”
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