Tea Party Congressmen to GOP: Screw you, I got mine
As a Republican, freshman Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida cares about the Republican Party’s image and fate. But what he especially cares about is a tiny sliver of the GOP: about 22,000 primary voters who lean heavily conservative and who secured his spot in the House.
Yoho is hardly alone. Many other House Republicans owe their elections to similarly small and ideologically intense electorates. These GOP lawmakers pay far less attention to the party’s national reputation. And that deeply frustrates activists trying to build broad, national coalitions to elect a Republican as president in 2016 and beyond.
Yoho and his fellow tea party-backed House members essentially say, “Not my problem.”
“I ran on what I stood up to do,” Yoho said after defying party leaders and voting against a bipartisan measure to raise the debt ceiling and end last month’s government shutdown. “And I got elected on that,” he said.