Rep. Michele Bachmann owes much of the support that fueled her presidential campaign to her ties to the Tea Party, is now finding out that the fiercely decentralized movement can be a double-edged sword. One of her fellow Tea Partiers is calling for Bachmann to move on.
"It's time for Michele Bachmann to go," Ned Ryun, president and founder of a Tea Party group he named "American Majority," wrote on the group's blog. Ryun said that Bachmann, the founder of the House tea party caucus, should pull the plug on her campaign out of respect for the activists she purports to represent.
"Every day the campaign flounders, it risks hurting the credibility of the movement," Ryun wrote.
"It is clear that the campaign has become less about reform and more about her personal effort to stay relevant and sell books," he added.
Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian dismissed Ryun as a supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and contended his opinions do not represent those of the movement activists.
"Michele Bachmann enjoys strong support from Americans across party lines and that certainly includes the Tea Party," Nahigian said in a prepared statement.
However Perry has emphasized his ties to the evangelical movement, and Ryun in his blog post criticizes Bachmann for doing the same. The congresswoman is de-emphasizing the Tea Party's message of limited government and highlighting "social issues and religion" in an effort to pick up more support from Republican caucus and primary voters, he wrote. Ryun called ta strategic mistake.
"Those fiscal issues which attract Republicans, independents, and conservative Democrats alike must continue to be the focus," he wrote.