Inner-GOP sniping increases in wake of Tea Party successes
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.”