KMBC's Micheal Mahoney: "More that two dozen Missouri TEA parties say a bid by US Senate candidate to capitalize on their movement has 'shocked' them...'Roy Blunt voted for TARP and Cash for Clunkers. For Michele Bachmann to come to Missouri and give the impression that all the Missouri Tea Parties support Roy Blunt is an abomination of everything we have been standing up for,' said Jedidiah Smith, a Tea Party leader in Franklin County, Missouri."
UPDATE: The coalition's full release is here, with statements from a number of tea party leaders. From that release:
- Franklin County Patriots: "Roy Blunt, like other RINOs, wants to be associated with the Tea Parties for his own political advantage. However, his record of voting for Cash for Clunkers, the TARP bailout, No Child Left Behind and other unconstitutional legislation does not reflect the conservative values of Tea Party Patriots. In addition, Roy Blunt’s association with Washington D.C. lobbyists has earned him a reputation of being one the largest recipients of lobbyist support, including Fannie and Freddie."
- "In God We Trust PAC has not endorsed and would never endorse Roy Blunt for the U.S. Senate. Roy Blunt does not stand for the conservative values and principles the Tea Party movement represents. He is a career politician and Washington insider who has sold out his constituents for special interest money. Roy Blunt is, in fact, what we are endeavoring to "purge" out of Washington."
- Jefferson County Tea Party: "Big spending Republicans that voted to increase the size and scope of Government during the Bush years are part of the problem, not the solution...If posing as a fiscal conservative were a crime, Roy Blunt would be on top 10 wanted list."
- Sikeston Tea Party: "We...do not endorse or even want Roy Blunt for our next Senator."
- SW MO Conservative Network: "We invited Congressman Blunt to several of our meetings over the last year and were told by his scheduler that he would not attend a candidate forum until after the Primary."
Blunt's upcoming event with Bachmann obviously won't the first time he's filtered his record for the tea party crowd:
- Blunt skipped the first tea party rally in Jefferson City in April 2009, even though he was in in the Capitol that day.
- He was not invited to the Springfield Tea Party in April 2009; organizer Vincent David Jericho said "we’re only inviting conservative politicians."
- He was not allowed to speak to the July 4, 2009 Tea Party in Washington, MO, an even organized with the St. Louis Tea Party folks like Dana Loesch, Bill Hennessy and Jim Hof.
- He was the target of open criticism at almost all of the early tea party rallies, and
- Was described by Dana Loesch as the epitome of what tea partiers claim to hate: "the old-school Republican guard, the ones intent on enslaving us in the tunnel of Democrat-lite."
- Jefferson County Tea Party leader Ken Horton told an April 2010 gathering that "Blunt needs to be held accountable for his votes," and said he'd be endorsing state Sen. Chuck Purgason instead.