Freedomworks’ Chairman Dick Armey and President Matt Kibbe have authored a new book, “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto,” which advocates “a hostile takeover” of the Republican Party. Both Armey and Kibbe are long-time Republican operatives. Armey of course served as a Republican congressman from Texas and as House Republican Majority Leader during the so-called “Republican Revolution” in the 90s. Kibbe worked at the Republican National Committee and as a senior staffer to a Republican congressman.
Armey’s mission has grown more ideological, though not any less political, in the past few years. As ThinkProgress has documented, Armey has manipulated the heated emotions and anger of tea partiers and organized them to help push his corporate-friendly agenda, which includes advocating tax cuts for the rich, defeating clean energy reform, defending health insurers’ worst practices, and weakening regulations designed to protect consumers. Armey has been endorsing right-wing Republican candidates who are willing to take up his corporate-backed agenda.
This morning, Armey appeared on C-Span to tout his new tea party manifesto and was asked what he thinks about RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Armey couched his criticism of Steele in general terms:
C-SPAN: Mr. Armey, what do you make of the tenure of Michael Steele as head of the RNC.
ARMEY: Well again, he works with the Republican Party. You know, Armey’s axiom is “politics sooner or later makes a horse’s rear out of anybody.” Anybody that gets involved in a political party deeply and lets their behavior be governed by politically-defined choice criteria is gonna make some bumbling choices. While he’s done many good things, he’s made some fairly dramatic stumbles too.
Armey’s criticism of Steele comes in the wake of Republican strategist Ed Rollins’ comments this weekend that the RNC chairman’s tenure has been “a disaster.”
Armey and Steele teamed up in a failed effort to defeat the passage of health reform late last year. And Armey has advised Steele to make inroads into the tea party movement by fully embracing “taxing-and-spending issues.”