By Libby Casey
The national Tea Party movement has endorsed Lisa Murkowski’s opponent in the Republican Senate primary. Fairbanks lawyer Joe Miller got the big-league endorsement today. The “Tea Party Express” says Miller is more in-line with its conservative ideals. The group’s political director Bryan Shroyer released a statement today ripping into Murkowski and calling her quote, “part of the problem in Washington.”
Joe Miller says the endorsement is a big boost to his campaign.
The tea party movement embodies the ideals that really gave me the reason to run. And that’s the belief that government is growing too large, it’s my perspective Murkowksi’s been part of that problem, and my commitment is to be part of the solution and help return our nation to limited constitutional government.
The Tea Party Express is pledging to help with funding and commercials. It also brings national attention to Miller’s candidacy. He’s only run for office once before, when he lost a Fairbanks state House race. Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto says the campaign gained momentum earlier this month when former Governor Sarah Palin endorsed him. He says the Tea Party support is generating the same national buzz.
It was similar to with Palin endorsement, any time a national organization or figure highlights our campaign and endorses it that always bring the outside media to see what our response is. It’s been a busy an exciting day. We always get the national media coming in, cnn, ap, nyt, wanting a response. So we’re happy to use that outlet too.
Senator Lisa Murkowski’s campaign spokesman, Steve Wackowski says the incumbent has fought Democrats in the Senate, and the Obama White House, including their support of health care legislation. He pointed to other credentials typically seen as “conservative,” including an A rating from the National Rifle Association and her opposition to raising the debt limit.
This race is about who’s in the best place to stand up to the Obama Administration and fight the federal government’s encroachment into the lives of Alaskans. We know what Lisa’s been doing for us fighting from Day 1. I think her credentials as a conservative are clear. She’s opposed the Democrat stimulus bill and voted 9 times to repeal parts and the entirety of Obamacare. And as an example just last week she led the fight to curtail the massive government encroachment into our economy, the EPA power grab into carbon emissions, and it even generated a veto threat from President Obama.
Both Murkowski’s and Miller’s camps are now using the term “Obamacare” as a slight against the President to describe the Democratic-led health care legislation signed into law this year.
The Tea Party movement has shown to carry influence in other recent Republican primary battles. In Nevada, it helped Senate candidate Sharron Angle defeat a better-known Republican, pouring a half-million dollars into her campaign, and it helped beat incumbent Republican Senator Bob Bennett of Utah, saying he wasn’t conservative enough.