Hardball with Chris Matthews, 1/8/13, 7:00 PM ET

Armey: There is an intellectual struggle in the GOP

Chris Matthews talks to Dick Armey, former House Republican Majorlity Leader and former FreedomWorks chairman, about the fracturing of the conservative...

Tea Partier: Democrats want ‘abortion on demand’

Updated

In Dick Armey’s world, Democrats want abortion to be as available as pay-per-view movies.

The former House Republican Majority Leader and former Freedom Works chairman insisted on Tuesday that the left wants “abortion on demand” during a discussion on Hardball about the divisions in the GOP.

Armey acknowledged there had been several “foolish mistakes” the GOP made during the campaign season, including Mitt Romney’s remarks about the 47%. He insisted the party was trying to “rediscover its relationship” with constitutional limitations on big government and fiscal responsibility.

Host Chris Matthews asked why, if the Republicans are really the party of limited government, does the party have its candidates trying to get rid of contraception, and outlaw gay marriage and abortion. “Why don’t you stay out of people’s lives if you really wanted limited government?” asked Matthews.

The former lawmaker insisted that there were simply a few bad apple candidates, just like the Democrats have “had a few rather strange people” too. When Matthews pointed out the GOP platform includes items about personhood and contraception, Armey insisted the Democrats also have “unusual” and “strange” items in their platform.

“Name one,” Matthews challenged.

“Homosexual marriage, all right. Abortion on demand,” Armey shot back. “These issues are in your platform. You don’t think it’s strange for these issues to be in your platform pointing in one direction, but you consider it outrageous that the other party has the same issues pointing in the another direction in their platform.”

Matthews responded, saying “The Democratic party generally supports Roe vs. Wade. It does not support ‘abortion on demand,’” adding the issue of gay marriage is going to be decided state by state, not nationally.

During the interview Armey also took a shot at FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe. The two had an apparent falling out after Armey tendered his resignation. According to the Washington Post, Armey staged a coup to oust Kibbe. According to the account, Armey walked into the Tea Party-linked group’s headquarters on Capitol Hill on Sept 4 with and armed aide and proceeded to expel Kibbe and senior Vice President Adam Brandon from the premises.

The situation was reportedly resolved after FreedomWorks benefactor Richard J. Stephenson agreed to pay Armey $8 million over the course of two decades in exchange for Armey’s departure.

Armey said that Kibbe–a frequent Hardball guest–can “be a good spokesman,” but “when he gets misguided, when he gets a sense of misdirection…he probably ends up wasting a lot of opportunity.”

“That’s a course for him to work out. I’m retired from FreedomWorks,” said Armey.

Tea Partier: Democrats want 'abortion on demand'

Updated