In addition to the official GOP response from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) is going to give an alternative response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight on behalf of the Tea Party Express, a national group that has heavily promoted her speech. But a major Tea Party group in her own state is strongly criticizing Bachmann’s plans. The Tea Party Patriots of the Twin Cities sent out an e-mail last night saying that Bachmann “does not speak for the Tea Party“:
Please call Michele Bachmann’s Office and tell her that she does not speak for the Tea Party. Michele has announced she will be giving the ‘Tea Party Response’ to the President’s State of the Union Address. The Tea Party Patriots Organization is a grass roots organization. One person has no right to speak for the whole organization.
Aside from this Tea Party split, there is a noticeable rift in the Republican Party over Bachmann’s address. During a breakfast with reporters today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called Bachman’s rebuttal-after-the-rebuttal “a little unusual.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), on the other hand, said Bachmann’s Tea Party response is “legitimate.”
Originally, Bachmann’s rebuttal was set to only air on Tea Party Express’ web page, but then CNN announced that they would air both Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) speech and Bachmann’s. GOP aides are reportedly not happy with the decision, claiming “CNN is basically inventing a conflict that doesn’t really exist,” and that “it’s not responsible journalism.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) also questioned why Bachmann’s address is being televised.