Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 10, 2016

Posts in "Tea Party"

February 5, 2016

Pelosi, DCCC Use Tea Party to Fire Up Dem Voters

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks with Melinda Henneberger, off camera, Roll Call editor-in-chief, after an interview in the Capitol on Jan. 8 (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 Pelosi cites “tea party extremism” in blast mailer to Democratic voters. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic leaders are urging their voting base to fill the party’s campaign coffers as part of an election-year battle against a “tide of tea party extremism.”

Some political observers believe the tea party — specifically, the House Freedom Caucus — will keep its powder dry this year in favor of a number of policy and spending battles in 2017. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi see the conservative movement as a way to fire up their base.

“In the coming months, the DCCC will engage the American people in our urgent campaign to fight back the tide of tea party extremism and keep our nation moving forward,” the California Democrat wrote this week in a blast mailer to Democratic voters. Full story

February 3, 2016

Pat Toomey Endorses Marco Rubio for President

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)

Toomey is up for re-election this year.

Updated: 5:30 p.m | Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president Wednesday during an interview on CNN.

“We face a huge national security crisis, obviously, emanating from the Middle East. There is tension all across the world,” he said. “Marco has demonstrated clear understanding. He’s done the hard work, he’s knowledgeable, thoughtful and a smart guy.”

Full story

January 12, 2016

Senate Conservatives Fund Makes First House Endorsements of 2016

Ellmers denied "completely false allegations" against her Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SCF has backed one of Ellmers’ primary challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Conservatives Fund endorsed its first three House candidates of the cycle on Tuesday.

The SCF has traditionally backed conservative Senate candidates, but in 2013 the organization started playing in House races with its “House Conservatives Project.”

“These candidates are all principled conservative leaders who have strong grassroots support. We need them in the U.S. House to reinforce the efforts of our conservative allies,” SCF President Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “They will stand up to the big spenders in both parties and work to defend the principles of freedom that make our nation great. We are proud to support Jim Banks, Mary Thomas, and Jim Duncan,” he said.

  • Indiana’s 3rd District: State Sen. Jim Banks is running in a crowded GOP primary for the seat Rep. Marlin Stutzman is vacating to run for the Senate. Banks also has the backing of the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and Tea Party Express.
  • Florida’s 2nd District: Mary Thomas, currently general counsel at the Department of Elder Affairs in Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, who faces a daunting re-election due to redistricting.
  • North Carolina’s 2nd District: Jim Duncan, who chairs North Carolina’s Chatham County Republican Party, is running in the Republican primary to unseat three-term Rep. Renee Ellmers. The Club for Growth endorsed Duncan in December.

At the Senate level, SCF has backed Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, running for the Senate seat currently held by Marco Rubio, and Stutzman.

Contact Pathé at simonepathe@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @sfpathe.

Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016

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January 8, 2016

Before Donald Trump, There Was Maine’s Paul LePage

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention.  (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

LePage, shown here in 2013, is again garnering national media attention. (John Ewing/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

It’s not unusual for Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s comments to make national news.

The two-term Maine Republican has a penchant for speaking off the cuff in a similar tell-it-like-it-is manner as the presidential candidate whom he’s endorsed, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

But his most recent comments sound a lot more like current GOP front-runner Donald Trump, earning LePage — who as recently as Thursday said he was thinking “very seriously” about running for Senate in 2018 — more national attention. Full story

December 22, 2015

Conservative Groups Not Rushing to Help Burr Primary Challenger

Brannon speaks during his campaign rally at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Brannon has launched a repeat bid for Senate after losing it in 2014’s GOP primary.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Obstetrician and 2014 Senate candidate Greg Brannon barely snuck under Monday’s filing deadline to challenge North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr in March’s primary.

Whether that’s too late for Brannon to amass the tea party support he might need to unseat a two-term senator remains to be seen, but so far, the kinds of groups that would back an anti-incumbent challenger such as Brannon don’t sound effusive about his candidacy.

Full story

December 14, 2015

Before He Runs for Governor in 2017, Wittman Faces Uncertain District in 2016

UNITED STATES - MARCH 29: Rep. Robert Wittman, R-Va., speaks during the news conference on American Energy Initiative legislation to expand U.S. energy production on Tuesday morning, March 29, 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Wittman is running for governor in 2017. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Virginia’s 1st District Rep. Rob Wittman announced over the weekend that he’s running for the GOP nomination for governor in 2017.

“Obviously our focus is on winning in 2016, but I am preparing for 2017,” Wittman told The Washington Post on Dec. 12.

Full story

November 17, 2015

Poll Shows GOP Focused on Terrorism, Democrats on the Economy

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 16 - Capitol Police officers stand by an armored vehicle is seen on the east front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Monday, November 16, 2015. Security around Washington is ramped up after last week's shooting in Paris. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police officers stand by an armored vehicle in front of the east front of the Capitol on Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The latest American Values Survey paints a picture of a mistrustful, world-weary electorate that’s pretty much had it with political dynasties, monolingual immigrants and political correctness in general.

Aside from the logical divide on who the two parties’ official standard-bearers will be, both sides are far apart on the most critical issues facing the nation, the poll shows.

Full story

October 27, 2015

Ryan Is a Boehner ‘Mini-Me’ to Some Conservatives

Ryan and Boehner, seen here in 2012, are facing similar attacks from tea-party outlets that once tolerated them. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ryan, left, and Boehner are facing similar attacks from tea party outlets that once tolerated them. ( Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just weeks after Republicans won control of the House in 2010, John A. Boehner celebrated his 61st birthday with a cake with green frosting.

It was actually a double celebration. That same day, Nov. 17, 2010, he was elected speaker-designate by the Republican conference with unanimous support — a present he never enjoyed again.

Full story

October 26, 2015

Carson’s Anti-Gay Stance Stops With Campaign Consultant

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

That Christian conservatives overwhelmingly support White House hopeful Ben Carson shouldn’t surprise anyone — he’s been critical of same-sex marriage and once said equating LGBT rights to civil rights “irritated” him.

And neither, campaign manager Barry Bennett maintains, should Bennett’s ongoing relationship with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist and business partner Mary Cheney.

Full story

October 23, 2015

Chamber’s Donohue ‘Doubling Down’ for 2016

Donohue020_102114

Donohue said the tea party started with principles of sound economics but has “lost sight of what the fundamental reality is.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Thomas Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pledged Friday to “double down” on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail against the ultra-conservative forces that threaten the business community’s agenda.

Those forces, which have helped buoy outsider presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, represent “an articulation of frustration” from the American people, Donohue said. Hard-line conservatives also helped wrest the gavel from chamber ally Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio.

Full story

September 9, 2015

Trump, Cruz, Palin, Conservatives Rally to Oppose Iran Deal

UNITED STATES - UNITED STATES - September 9: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets fellow candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Trump greets Cruz before the two speak at the rally on Wednesday. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Opponents of President Barack Obama’s Iran deal — led by Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz — rallied on Capitol Hill to show how they felt about the plan.

A veritable who’s who of conservative and tea party stars joined Trump and Cruz on stage to rail against the plan, and both Republican and Democratic leadership, who they say failed them. Here are highlights:

Full story

August 10, 2015

Milton Wolf, Jerry Moran Face Off Ahead Of Possible Primary Challenge (Updated)

Wolf and Moran went head-to-head for the first time on Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wolf went head to head with Moran for the first time on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Update 4:13 p.m. | As conservative Kansas doctor Milton Wolf considers a Republican primary challenge to Sen. Jerry Moran, he confronted the incumbent Monday over Wolf’s beef with the state’s Republican Party from his last campaign.

Last week, Wolf was cleared by the Kansas Board of Healing Arts from a charge he had divulged privileged patient information on Facebook. That charge was first raised during his 2014 primary challenge to Sen. Pat Roberts, which Wolf believes was furthered by the party’s leadership and Moran.

Full story

July 31, 2015

Democrats Hope Baron Hill Can Follow Donnelly’s Path to the Senate

Donnelly won in Indiana by 6 points in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donnelly won in Indiana by 6 points in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Indiana Rep. Baron P. Hill’s road to the Senate won’t be any easy one, but Democrats think they have a roadmap to get him there.

Although Hill declared his candidacy in mid-May, in the middle of the 2nd quarter, he raised just $151,000 with $143,000 in the bank. That included a $2,700 donation from Indiana native son singer John Mellencamp. Meanwhile, Rep. Todd Young, one of three Republicans in the race, posted a $1 million haul in the 2nd quarter, before even declaring his Senate candidacy.

Full story

July 24, 2015

Conservative Groups Not Sold on John McCain Challenger

McCain speaks to reporters in the Ohio Clock Corridor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conservative outside groups have made it crystal clear they want John McCain out of the Senate, but a fog remains over whether any will back the Arizona Republican’s most prominent opponent so far.

While state Sen. Kelli Ward, a doctor who hails from a predominantly rural district in Lake Havasu City, is the most well-known Republican to enter the race, she has yet to earn the backing of some of the major conservative organizations able to offer significant financial support. Full story

July 17, 2015

Where Are They Now? 2010 Republican Senate Challengers

Despite losing two Senate bids, McMahon is still involved in GOP politics. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two years after her unsuccessful run in 2010, McMahon spent another $50 with similar results in 2012. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Flash back to 2010, when moderate New England Republican Linda McMahon was on the Connecticut ballot to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Christopher S. Dodd. A self-funder, McMahon was one of several candidates who Republicans hoped could help flip the Senate.

But the former WWE executive went on to lose to Sen. Richard Blumenthal by 12 points. McMahon wasn’t alone. Across the country, Republican Carly Fiorina fell well short of knocking off California Democrat Barbara Boxer.

Full story

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