In an audio-taped private meeting with Tea Party rival Scott Ashjian, Nevada GOP candidate for U.S. Senate and initial Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle tried to get Ashjian to back out of the race so she could win over all the Tea Party voters in her race against Democrat Harry Reid.
Angle, who has become a national figure for saying sometimes outlandish things, doesn’t say anything too outlandish on the tape. Ashjian says the national Tea Party Express, which backed Angle, smeared him and that maybe it also threatened him and wiretapped his phone. He wants an apology. She sort of offers him one. They come together mainly however in skewering the mainstream Republican party. He says the “establishment that is supporting [her] and representing [her] is not on the right course.” She says that when she gets to Washington there will about “five or six” new “real” conservatives like her whom she will apparently bond with to lead a conservative renewal revolution. Colorado GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck made the list, right between Alaska’s Joe Miller and Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell.
Angle: “[The Republicans] don’t want me back there [in DC] because they know I’ll shake this mess up… When I go back, there may be five or six of us… maybe Joe Miller, Ken Buck, Christine O’Donnell.
Ashjian: “[O’Donnell] doesn’t have a chance.”
Angle: “Well I think she’s real… possibly Marco Rubio, but that’s a stretch for me.”
Angle also tells the story of Tea Party versus Republican America by recounting a folksy version of the biblical David and Goliath story.
“It’s me or Reid. That’s what they got. We have them in the box,” she says, of the Republican “good old boy thing.” “We want them coming to us.”
“The king came out with his armor and tried to put all this big heavy armor on David and said ‘OK, you’re ready to go kid.’ David said ‘I can’t do it this way. You gotta let me get all this armor off and pick up my sling. That’s how I can beat this guy, with my slingshot.’ And that’s exactly where I am right now, trying to get them to leave me alone long enough where I can get my sling and go after this guy and they, you know, there’s just these issues that you [Ashjian] are talking about. You feel like I do about character and principle but they’ve got this political machinery (?) they’d like you to wear out there.
“But you [Ashjian] have tapped into the essence of America and the essence of America is: We are tired of politics as usual. We don’t want to see the same old battered armor. We want to see the guy with the character and the sling…. You’re exactly right about what we got going here… But the rules are we got Democrats and Republicans and so I set it up where they have to, they have to support me.”
Tea Party candidate Ashjian said he didn’t feel like “converting to a corrupt party” was the answer. Angle said she moved from the Tea Party to the GOP because she was simply more practical than Ashjian. She accepted the reality of the two-party system and now she and the Tea Party candidates have got the Republican Party “in a box.”
Ken Buck has been careful in the last months not to refer to himself as a Tea Party candidate. He prefers to say he’s a grassroots conservative candidate.