Tea party to Bachmann: You don’t speak for the tea party
Rep. Michele Bachmann has been steeped in tea party politics for the last two years, but she may be overstepping her bounds as she increasingly attaches herself to a movement that insists it has no party and no leader. Bachmann is set to give a response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening in concert with the Tea Party Express — a move that has prompted local tea partiers to cry foul.
“Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has confirmed with us that she will broadcast her response to Barack Obama’s State of The Union address this Tuesday,” Tea Party Express leader Amy Kremer told supporters over the weekend. “You’ll be able to watch her rebut Obama via her address which will be broadcast on our website: www.TeaPartyExpress.org.”
That has caused some consternation among the Tea Party Patriots of the Twin Cities. The group sent out an email Monday evening that said, “Please call Michele Bachmann’s Office and tell her that she does not speak for the Tea Party. Michele has announced she will be giving the ‘Tea Party Response’ to the President’s State of the Union Address. The Tea Party Patriots Organization is a grass roots organization. One person has no right to speak for the whole organization.”
Her response also means she may steal some thunder from the official Republican response, which will be given by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor downplayed Bachmann’s plans to NBC on Monday. “Paul Ryan’s giving the official Republican response,” Cantor said, adding that Bachmann will have an opinion “just as the other 534 members of the House and Senate [are going to."]
Bachmann has carried the mantle of the tea party for quite a while, organizing the House Tea Party Caucus, hosting constitutional classes for tea party–affiliated Republicans in the House, and being named a Tea Party Express “hero” in 2010.
Last year she tried a similar strategy when she hosted a tea party event on the same day as Obama’s State of the Union address.