In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Steele On Health Reform Bill: 'I'm Tired Of Congress Flipping The Bird' At The American People


Armey called the GOP "quite capable of serving the cause of liberty." He said that he and Steele have had conversations about how they can work together on health care reform, though he pushed back on claims that he was the leader of conservative protest movement.

"I'm not audacious enough to say I'm leading the tea party movement," he said, calling himself one of many "grassroots activists" pushing the tea party movement forward. But as a former House Republican leader, Armey said he knew his former party could be the home for the tea party movement.

"I can say there's not a place I can turn except for the Republican Party," Armey said. He called for a return to the Reagan era when he says the GOP was focused on "liberty" and other tea party values.

It's not clear that Armey's supporters in the movement agree with him yet. Steele's GOP has reached out to the tea partiers, but TPMDC's conversations with the conservative protesters that have swarmed around Capitol Hill in the past few months as well as polling data suggest that the grassroots aren't ready to support the party many feel has betrayed them in the past.