Texas Tea Partiers are over Steve Stockman.
In an open letter issued to the Texas congressman just a week before the primary elections in Texas, a group of conservatives blasted Stockman as a candidate unworthy of a Senate seat. The letter said Rep. Stockman, who is challenging incumbent Sen. John Cornyn in next week’s Republican primary, has run “the laziest statewide campaign to date.” The party members even describe him as unethical.
“Based on your response to media inquiries, you apparently believe you don’t have to answer to anybody,” the letter said, accusing the congressman of actively rebuffing questions from the press.
“We disavow your lack of accessibility to the people of Texas during this campaign and these unethical activities,” wrote the group of tea party activists. “Whether these tactics are actually carried out by you, your associates, or a group of supporters – these are not the hallmarks of a statesman. We are looking for a bold, courageous leader with integrity – a leader who will make himself available to the people. Your actions have disqualified you.”
The coalition is led by JoAnn Fleming who serves as the chair of the Texas Legislature’s tea party caucus advisory committee. Fleming, along with 11 other activists, signed the letter.
The group’s letter didn’t stop there. In a blow to Stockman, the group backed another Republican Senate candidate, Dwayne Stovall.
“Today we stand with a fighter to protect us from an overreaching, over-taxing, over-regulating, over-spending federal government. We stand with the man who truly embodies the TEA Party ideal of freedom and liberty for all. Senator Ted Cruz needs a kindred spirit with him in this fight against Washington – that man is Dwayne Stovall,” they wrote.
Stockman is no stranger to criticism, particularly after his two-week disappearance during his senatorial campaign. After having missed 17 straight House votes at the beginning of 2014, aides refused to answer questions regarding the congressman’s whereabouts.
Having served one congressional term in 1994, Steve Stockman returned in 2013 with conservative support and attention from his inflammatory rhetoric. He called for President Obama’s impeachment over gun regulations, and even distributed copies of the book Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office to every House member. Stockman also sold Obama “barf bags” on his website to raise money for his campaign.
A staunch proponent of gun rights, Stockman has waded in troubled waters due to his incendiary rhetoric. Stockman’s twitter feed has a running list of abortion tweets, with one that stated, “If babies had guns, they wouldn’t be aborted.” In December, he suggested “liberal tears” as a lubricant for cleaning guns. But his gun rhetoric didn’t pull any favors with the NRA who chose to endorse Sen. Cornyn over Stockman.
Last year, Stockman remembered Margaret Thatcher on the day of her death by tweeting: “The best way to honor Baroness Thatcher is to crush liberalism and sweepit into the dustbin of history.”
Primary elections will be held on March 4. Sen. Cornyn is running for re-election to keep his seat for a third term.
According to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, Cornyn is holding a huge lead over Stockman, with 62% support of likely Republican primary voters.