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Dick Armey Blasts Losing GOP: They Said 'Stupid Things'

By Newsmax Wires   |   Monday, 10 Dec 2012 10:05 AM

The Republican Party and stupid statements by some candidates are to blame for GOP losses in last month's congressional elections, the former leader of a tea party group said Monday.

Dick Armey, who until recently led the conservative group FreedomWorks, said some GOP candidates said "stupid things" that party leaders should have taught them to avoid saying. He said Republicans had a lot of candidates who did "dumb things" during their campaigns.

Armey, a former Republican House majority leader from Texas, did not specifically mention controversial comments about rape by GOP Senate candidates in Indiana and Missouri that contributed to their defeats in November. Republicans had been hoping to win control of the Senate but ended up losing seats instead, and they lost strength in the House as well.

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Armey said it is the party's job to support and train candidates. In leaving  FreedomWorks, the tea party group that he helped establish, Armey told the organization it must stop using his name and some of the literature he produced.

In a terse Nov. 30 resignation email to FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe, Armey wrote, “Effective immediately I expect that FreedomWorks shall remove my name, image, and signature from all its letters, print media, postings, web sites, videos, testimonials, endorsements, fund raising materials, and social media, including but not limited to Facebook and Twitter.”

Armey also told CBS’ “This Morning” that House Speaker John Boehner should permit votes on both Republican and Democratic fiscal-cliff plans if President Barack Obama doesn’t show more willingness to compromise, according to Politico.

“Unless the president shows some real negotiating, let’s say vigor, commitment, what I would do if I was John Boehner is I would take my version of what I think is the best policy for America to the floor and offer the Democrats, on behalf of the president, a chance to offer a substitute,” he said.

Meanwhile, Armey denied that the tea party has lost its influence, even though some of its candidates lost in elections last month.

“We had a lot of candidates, quite frankly, that did dumb things out there,” he said. “We had at least two candidates that should have won that, frankly, lost because they said some stupid things on the subject that their parties’ leader should have schooled them to stay away from in the first place. To lay this off on tea party activists across the country, I think is just Alibi Ike on behalf of the Republican Party.”

Under Armey’s guidance, FreedomWorks helped several tea party-backed candidates, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, unseat sitting GOP members and win election to Congress. But a bid to repeat its success in Utah by ousting Sen. Orrin Hatch failed in this year’s primaries.

The decision to leave FreedomWorks came less than a month after Republicans lost the presidential election and seats in both houses of Congress.

The Washington Post reported that Max Pappas, FreedomWorks’ vice president for public policy and government affairs, has also left the group.

News of Armey’s departure was broken by the website Mother Jones which said, “The tone of the memo suggests that this was not an amicable separation.”

Armey told Mother Jones, "The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life. At this point, I don't want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life.

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"They were matters of principle. It's how you do business as opposed to what you do. But I don't want to be the guy to create problems."

"Obviously I was not happy with the election results," Armey told Mother Jones. "We might've gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction. But it isn't that I got my nose out of line because we should've done better."

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