Dick Armey: Tea party candidates lost because they "did dumb things"
"I don't think the Republican Party schooled their candidates very well or supported their candidates very well," Armey said on "CBS This Morning."
Armey left he House in 2003 and went on to run FreedomWorks, an organization that became instrumental in the rise of the tea party movement. FreedomWorks spent $40 million in 2012 to elect tea party candidates but only one-quarter of the candidates they endorsed won.
"We had a lot of candidates quite frankly that did dumb things out there," Armey said, referring to statements about abortion and rape made by Senate candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana. He said the Republican Party didn't fulfill their obligation to teach the candidates to not say inflammatory remarks.
In a highly reported and seemingly bitter split, Armey recently left FreedomWorks because of a disagreement on the direction of the organization. On "CBS This Morning," however, he defended the tea party and their economic principles of limited government to propel economic growth.
As for "fiscal cliff" negotiations, Armey said Boehner has "the toughest job in town" because he's dealing with a divided House, a "dysfunctional Senate" and a president who is leaving little room for negotiations.
Armey indicated that he doesn't trust the president or the Democrats to fulfill their side of the agreement should Republicans give in on tax increases.
"[T]here's an awful lot of us that remember that time after time after time, what we got from the Democrats [is] give us the tax increases now give us the spending cuts later. The spending cuts never showed up," Armey said, referring to budget talks of the 90s.
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