Tea Party Express national coordinator Joe Wierzbicki has expanded on his group’s call for the “termination” of Delaware Republican party Chairman Tom Ross, in light of the fact that Ross temporarily left his home in response to a death threat.
The call for Ross’ “immediate resignation or termination” was made over the state party chair’s support of GOP establishment pick Rep. Mike Castle over tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell in the Senate Republican primary.When originally contacted by TPM, Wierzbicki said it was “horrible to hear that Mr. Ross is concerned about the nature of hostile comments being made against him,” but asked “why on earth did Tom Ross and his political henchmen deride Christine O’Donnell as delusional when she expressed the very same concern.” He concluded: “Pot. Kettle. Black.”
Wierzbicki was referring to an interview O’Donnell did with the Weekly Standard, where she suggested that her opponents had people who “follow me home at night.” She didn’t accuse anyone by name, but said: “I’m not sure who did it, but I know for a fact that Mike Castle and [Delaware GOP chairman] Tom Ross were campaigning against me.” Ross told The News Journal the claims were “disgusting.”
In a subsequent email to TPM, Wierzbicki softened his tone a bit, and directly addressed the Tea Party Express’ call for Ross’ “termination.”
“We hadn’t heard that Ross had received any threats, and we meant no funniness by saying ‘terminated,'” Wierzbicki said. “We used that phrase to reflect the fact that the Delaware Republican Party, including it’s delegates would have to take action to dump him, should he not decide to resign himself.”
“I thought it was ironic given their mockery about Christine’s concerns about the staffer Tom Ross sent to stalk her, and the pressure and intimidation that she had faced that led her to have staffers checking out the bushes outside her home,” Wierzbicki said, coming back to his original comparison. “Obviously Christine O’Donnell shouldn’t have to fear for her safety nor should Tom Ross.”
“But we all should be able to have a fiercely honest, open and aggressive debate over ideals and ideas,” Wierzbicki concluded. “That’s the point of the American political system and its greatness – that we can do this without fear of physical violence or government intimidation.”
The Delaware primary is today. A recent PPP poll showed O’Donnell leading Castle by three points.