News / USA

    Republicans Credit Tea Party for Gains in Midterm Election

    Rand Paul, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, waves to supporters after winning election as a Republican to the Senate from Kentucky
    Rand Paul, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, waves to supporters after winning election as a Republican to the Senate from Kentucky

    The U.S. Republican Party enjoyed a major victory in last Tuesday's congressional midterm elections, winning back control of the House of Representatives and gaining seats in the Senate.  Republicans are giving the conservative Tea Party movement a lot of credit for their success, but political analysts say the Tea Party could turn into a mixed blessing in the months ahead.  

    The Tea Party is not a political party but more of a grassroots conservative and libertarian movement dedicated to reducing the power and size of the central government in the lives of ordinary Americans.

    The Tea Party movement does not have one leader and is made up of hundreds of small activist groups around the country, which in turn helped dozens of Republicans win congressional races on November 2nd.

    Among those who benefitted from the Tea Party is the new Senator-elect from Kentucky, Rand Paul. "We've come to take our government back," Paul said.

    Paul and other Tea Party favorites like to cite the grassroots nature of the movement, and they in turn have vowed to carry out the Tea Party's aim of smaller government in Washington.

    In addition to Rand Paul, Tea Party activists rallied around winning Republican Senate candidates in Pennsylvania, Utah and Florida, where Republican Marco Rubio emerged victorious in a three-way race.

    Republican Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio and his wife Jeanette smile as national TV stations call the race in his favor while watching results in Coral Gables, Florida, 2 Nov. 2010
    Republican Florida Senator-elect Marco Rubio and his wife Jeanette smile as national TV stations call the race in his favor while watching results in Coral Gables, Florida, 2 Nov. 2010

    But in the wake of his victory, Rubio had a message for fellow Republicans in Washington. "This election is not an embrace of the Republican Party," he said. "It is a second chance to be about principle and values."

    Former Republican Congressman Dick Armey of Texas is one of several national organizers of the Tea Party movement.  Armey says Republicans will be held to their campaign promises to cut government spending and taxes and confront President Obama in the months ahead.

    "The voters have said to Washington, no, we don't take instructions from you, we don't follow your lead.  You are not in charge.  You are hired hands.  We are in charge and yes, we want action, but we want action on our agenda, on America's agenda," he said.

    Not all Tea Party endorsed candidates succeeded.  Republican Senate candidates lost in Nevada and Delaware and experts say that better candidates in those two races might have helped Republicans retake control of the Senate.

    Republican leaders have acknowledged the role Tea Party support played in this year's midterm elections, and at least for now they say they welcome the scrutiny of the Tea Party to make sure they deliver on their campaign promises.

    "And Tea Party activists will continue to energize our party and challenge us to follow through on our commitments," said Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    The influx of new senators with allegiances to the Tea Party movement could complicate McConnell's job to unite Republican senators on various issues that come before the Senate.

    "It is an activist group and they are going to demand that the party pay heed to their agenda," said Bob Benenson, a senior political analyst for Congressional Quarterly and the Roll Call newspaper. "This is why we voted for you, this is why we worked so hard for you, we want what is coming to us."

    Tea Party activists overwhelmingly supported Republican candidates this year and gave the party new life after big congressional losses in 2006 and 2008.

    But pollster John Zogby says the increasing influence of the Tea Party could lead to some congressional splits between Tea Party loyalists and moderate Republicans.

    "Their first battle is to define the heart and soul of their party," he said. "For Republicans, is it the establishment, inside-the-beltway [Washington] Republican Party, or is it the Tea Party?  And they have got to decide that."

    Looking ahead, many analysts expect the Tea Party movement to have a big influence on the battle for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2012, with several candidates eager to appeal to a group that has already proven it can mobilize voters.

    But University of Virginia expert Larry Sabato says there is a down side to excessive Tea Party influence within the Republican Party. "They are going to try to have a tremendous impact on the Republican side," he said. "They are going to try to pick the nominee.  The problem of course is that the Tea Party is well to the right.  It is further to the right than the country, there is simply no question about that."

    Tea Party activists already have in mind several potential presidential contenders for 2012, and at the top of the list are former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and conservative TV talk show host Glenn Beck.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.