September 20th, 2010
10:06 AM ET

Inner-GOP sniping increases in wake of Tea Party successes

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/09/19/tea.party.fallout/story.odonnell.gi.jpg caption="'Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell canceled scheduled interviews with Fox and CBS." width=300 height=169]

Tom Cohen

Washington (CNN) - Tea Party euphoria confronted reality Sunday, with Delaware Senate primary winner Christine O'Donnell backing out of scheduled talk show appearances amid talk of possible civil war among Republicans over the conservative movement.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski accused the Tea Party Express of infusing money and lies into her Republican primary to swing it against her.

Now waging a write-in campaign to retain her seat, against the wishes of mainstream Republicans, Murkowski told CNN that fellow party members were inciting inner-GOP conflict.

"What happened in my particular race, you had the Tea Party Express, this California-based group, come in at the last minute in a campaign, run a mudslinging, smear - just a terrible, terrible campaign, with lies and fabrications and mischaracterization," Murkowski said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "They came in, they dumped $600,000 into a small market here in Alaska, and they absolutely clearly influenced the outcome of that election."

Murkowski accused conservative GOP Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who backed her victorious opponent in the primary, of undermining fellow Republicans.

"I don't think that it's particularly helpful to undercut fellow Republicans, but as I say, it's his prerogative," Murkowski said of DeMint, later adding: "I think that he has made people uncomfortable. I think that he has kind of rattled the cages. Whether it advances to a full-on civil war, I don't know."

On the same program, DeMint said in a pre-recorded interview that his efforts have helped Republican chances of regaining control of the Senate in November's mid-term elections.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Raw Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. phil

    we have got the tea party and the coffee party.Why not start the beer party and party in the process.

    September 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  2. john dahodi

    WHY should I vote for a person, who is not only extremist but well beyond Christian and moral values? She looks like, talk like, have past like Sarah Palan and that is more than enough to ignore her and ignore what ever other Pundits are saying about her. She is wasting her time and her supporters money. I am little bit upset about Obama the way economy is going but hearing Republicans and their economical plans to allow Millionaires to become billionaires and middle class to go down to the poverty index is very risky . I will continue taking little more risk in supporting Obama and democrats rather than tea party and witch party Republicans. They look like real ghosts and witches to me, if I look them very carefully.

    September 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  3. SavageNation

    Wiccan Loving Leftists attack Witchcraft Dabbling Conservative
    Funny how the Radical Left uses behavior it LOVES such as Homosexuality and in this case Wicca as a PUT DOWN for it’s political enemies. They scream for freedom to do whatever they want, and cry when people judge deviant behavior. Then when someone they hate because of their own dogmas is found doing what they’ve always done, they attack that person as if they are all of the sudden on some moral high ground. Hypocrisy is a foundation of a modern Liberal.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  4. Candy Barr

    Its quite obvious that Republicans are trying to cash in on the anti-encumbent mood by sprouting a new flavor of Republican – it's new – it's improved – VOTE OUT out those other Republican guys and vote for US ANYWAY.

    The question Americans have to ask themselves is if the Tea Party candidates will vote along partisan lines with the old Republicans and the answer has been coming back a resounding YES THEY WILL. Want a change? Try Green or Independant. Listen carefully to what a candidate promises and ASK the right questions. The only way to squash partisan gridlock is to only vote for candidates who PROMISE not to vote along partisan lines but vote their personal thoughts and more importantly vote for what their VOTERS would want every time!

    This is the most important concept 21st century Americans will face. If they fail this test, they FAIL and it will be BAD; it will get worse!

    September 20, 2010 at 10:37 am |