Tea party groups in Missouri are furious that national tea party icon, Rep. Michele Bachmann, endorsed the strong frontrunner for the Senate nomination Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO). Bachmann will join Blunt for a fundraiser and to make campaign calls in his St. Louis headquarters Saturday.
Given that Bachmann has emerged as a tea party hero and formed the brand-new Tea Party Caucus in Congress, the groups said “we were shocked” that she is backing Blunt since he voted for the TARP bailout funds and “Cash for Clunkers.”
“We believe she has been grossly misled if she understands him to be a Missouri Tea Party candidate,” read a statement issued by 38 groups from the Show Me state, claiming to represent more than 8,660 activists. The statement came with a list of the groups, noting they have “NOT” endorsed Blunt.
The Eureka Tea Party said Bachmann is risking the “status” of her caucus by taking sides.
“The Tea Party is not the Republicans to claim. This is the citizen’s movement and we will not stand for any politicians to try to use us for their own political gain,” wrote MID MO 9/12 Patriots in a statement.
FiredUp Missouri reports that Blunt skipped the first tea party rally in April 2009, even though he was in town that day. Other tea party groups declined to invite him to further rallies.
As we mentioned yesterday, Blunt is facing a challenge from state lawmaker Chuck Purgason in next Tuesday’s primary election. There are 18 candidates in total on the primary ballot. Blunt is expected to handily win the nomination and go on to face Robin Carnahan (D) in the general election.