Dick Armey tells House GOP: Win back the tea-partiers to winSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Sun, 01/31/2010 - 15:49
By Molly K. Hooper - 01/30/10 08:55 PM ET
Dick Armey left his former House GOP colleagues on Saturday with a sobering thought: They lost the tea-party activists in 2006, now go win 'em back.
The former House GOP leader told the lawmakers gathered on the third day of the issues retreat that if they worked hard, it would be possible to win back the “small-government, grass-roots conservatives.”
Armey (R-Texas) explained in an interview that “in 1994 all we had to say to America was trust us, we aren’t them, and nobody ever remembered being disappointed in us in the majority. Now we have to say, ‘trust us, we’re not them and we’re not the guys that broke your hearts a few years ago.’ So they have a bigger task. But that’s not an insurmountable task.”
As president of the Freedom Forum, an organization that has coordinated many of the so-called Tea Party rallies and marches, Armey’s guidance was particularly important to Republicans.
Armey, who led House Republicans during the 1994 revolution, spent 90 minutes with GOP lawmakers on third and final day of the annual issues retreat. He had more time to take questions at the closed-door breakfast after the original final speaker, Virginia's Gov. Bob McDonnell, canceled due to the winter storm wreaking havoc on the Commonwealth Saturday morning.