“There’s a war against the tea party,” according to Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert – and he’s not going to take it anymore.
In an interview with the Daily Caller published Tuesday, Gohmert announced plans to launch a political action committee aimed at defending House conservatives from attacks by “mainstream” Republicans. “If someone declares war on me I’m not just going to lie down and take it. I’m going to fight,” the Texas congressman said. “You’ve got to have money to fight opposition. The leaders in the party raise money so that [makes congressman] feel they have to stay close to them. If we raise money on our own we can take a stand.”
Inspired by former Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, Gohmert said his GOH Conservative PAC will force conservative candidates to follow through with their campaign promises and not give in to majority pressure.
“People are not thrilled when you stand up and criticize your own party leaders. I say, ‘Look we made promises of what we would do when we were elected,’” Gohmert said.
Gohmert rejected the notion of a Republican “civil war” and said that the fighting within the GOP “doesn’t have to be that way.”
But Gohmert has been at the center of disputes with members of his own party. Last year, Gohmert accused Sen. John McCain of supporting al Qaeda in Syria. And last month, Gohmert invoked the movie Animal House to accuse establishment Republicans of trying to destroy the tea party.
“What happened to the Tea Party I used to know?” Gohmert asked in a speech to the South Carolina Tea Party Convention. “Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts? This could be the greatest time of our lives, but you’re going to let it be the worst because we’re afraid to go with Louie. We might get in trouble. Just kiss my aspen tree. From now on, not me, I’m not going to take it. We’re not going to take it anymore right? We’re going to stand up and take our country back!”
The diverging branches of the Republican Party–on display during the various State of the Union responses last month–has been an emerging narrative as a new class of tea party candidates prepares to take on incumbent Republicans in this year’s midterm elections.In an interview last week on Hardball, former Ohio Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette, whose Defending Main Street super PAC was established in order to fight the growing influence of the tea party, said the extreme voices on the right are not interested in running the country. “There’s a segment of the Republican base that loves this stuff,” LaTourette said while discussing Sen. Ted Cruz’s latest stand against the GOP leadership, “and they’re happy when he engages in this because there’s no connection between running the country and just throwing bombs, and they love the bomb-throwing.”