April 21st, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Which will cause GOP more problems in 2012: Dems or Tea Party?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Despite last year's midterm shellacking of the Democrats and record low approval ratings for President Obama, there is a big potential problem for Republicans heading into the 2012 presidential election. Other Republicans.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/04/21/art.tea.party.jpg caption="Last week's 2011 Palm Beach County Tax Day Tea Party."]
More specifically, the Tea Party; that grassroots movement that helped the GOP win the House last fall and weaken the Democrats' hold on the Senate. These days they are all but driving the Republican agenda. They want big spending cuts and a much smaller government. The thing is a lot of Americans agree with them. And many of the newly-elected lawmakers who ran on those platforms have proven they're willing to stick to the budget-slashing principles even if it effectively paralyzes Congress.

Fifty-four Republicans in the House voted against last week's budget bill and for a government shutdown, a sign that upcoming battles like raising the debt ceiling and reforming Medicare could get very ugly.

The old line establishment Republicans aren't nearly so extreme, and that could become a problem when it comes time for the GOP to run against the Democrats in next year's elections. Potential GOP candidates like Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and Donald Trump have all made appearances at Tea Party events this month. Others like Mitt Romney and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have chosen to steer clear of events, while still speaking favorably of the group.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research poll, just 32% of Americans have a favorable view of the Tea Party, while 46% have a favorable view of the Democratic party and 44% have a favorable view of Republicans.

Here’s my question to you: Which will cause Republicans more problems next year: Democrats or the Tea Party?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

The Tea Party. They will drive the nomination to some extreme reactionary who will prove unelectable in the general election. The Democrats will continue to try to throw away the Presidency but won’t succeed.

Steve in Clifton, Virginia:
The GOP, like the Democrats, are their own worst enemy. Both parties try to cater to all elements within their parties and end up divided, confused, indecisive, undecided and not necessarily standing for anything that the country can collectively rally around.

Amber in Austin:
The biggest problem for the GOP? Pick one: Sarah, Donald, Newt, Mitt, Michelle, Mike, Haley. Not an ounce of Presidential material in any of them.

Iris in California:
The Tea Party will give the Republicans nothing but grief! The same thing will happen with the presidential election that happened to Meg Whitman who ran for Governor here in California. She had to go further and further to the right to get the nomination and then had to backtrack most of what she said in the primary to get the moderate independents to vote for her in the general election. It did not work!

Jeff in Bishop, Georgia:
Yeah, that evil Tea Party wants the government to operate within a budget, to lower taxes and to limit the overreaching power of the feds. As Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer said, "That's just too extreme."

Steve in Florida:
Tea Party, for sure. They force any Republican into such a far right corner that it will impossible for them to move anywhere near the center to win a general election. By the way, this couldn't make me happier!

Rich in Texas:
If people actually listened to what the Tea Party is saying and not just to the Democrats' talking points, I think they would be amazed at how much they agree with them. I know you agree with the Tea Party, Jack. You just don't have the guts to admit it because of CNN's liberal bias.

Filed under: Democrats • GOP • GOP Ticket • Republican Party • Republicans • Tea Party
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Tea Party. The Dems are a joke.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  2. jc

    The Tea Party for sure. Many Americans agree on the spending cuts and smaller government. But too many far right conservatives have jumped on-board pushing their social beliefs too. Independents and unhappy Dems will have trouble voting for a GOP candidate with too conservative social views.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  3. Paul Austin, Texas

    I think when it gets down to the brass tacks it will be the Tea Party that will cause them the most problems. Many of the Tea Party people are members that want change without a change that will effect them. In general I think most of them mean well but in the end they will only be looked at as the ones that caused the GOP to lose again in 2012.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  4. sean ensign1

    both will be problems for the GOP. The tea party people are mad about the budget mess and the dems will be taking seats from the repubs in districts where the races will be close. i think they sunk there ship when they decided to mess with medicare. basically the GOP are picking on the elderly and the middle and lower class again.

    April 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  5. Harold , ANCHORAGE, AK

    The buffons, like Trump and Palin, distract the GOP from a meaningful debate. They have been hoist by their own petard.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  6. MNResident

    The real answer is neither one. What will give the Republicans the most trouble in 2012 are the RINOs in the party who are more concerned with destroying true conservatism in the Republican party than with beating the Democrats out of office.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  7. james in greenville, nc

    The Dems will cause the GOP the most trouble. The GOP will not beat Obama with any of the current crop of wannabe candidates. The only hope is Hillary!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  8. john in NC

    Neither. It will be the liberal press.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  9. Lori - PA


    The Tea party will cause more problems for the Republicans. The Tea Party is vocal, while the Democrats, per passing the 2011 budget bill, sit quietly sit and do nothing. At least until they can't get away with it anymore. Or it's time to campaign again. I also believe that people may get the Tea Party message confused with the Republican message. With the election around the corner, we'll know soon enough.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Ed from California

    Both, will cause problems for the Kochplicans. But if, "The Donald"; keeps talking about bringing all the outsourced jobs back and getting America back to work, and putting in place a 25% tariff on all Chinese products! Hello, Mr. "The Donald" The President of the United States!! Even me, a progressive and very happily retired Teamster, will vote for that, all day long!! Who else is talking like that? Nobody!!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Amber - Austin, TX

    The biggest problem for the GOP – pick one: Sarah, Donald, Newt, Mitt, Michelle, Mike, Haley.....not an ounce of Presidential material in any of them.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  12. Pete in Georgia

    Well, one thing's for sure.................the Dems are and will continue to only HELP the GOP in 2012 with each and every lunatic move they make. THEY are the GOP's strongest ally and will continue to fuel a complete GOP sweep.
    By summer of 2012 the Tea Party will be doing the "GOP Two Step" well enough to even bring praise from Bruno on Dancing With the Stars.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  13. Greg in Arkansas

    Actually Jack, it will be the voters that are fed up with the constant political posturing and a lack of any meaningful progress.
    We are tired of being told what's wrong and who's at fault.....we already know what's broken and at this point, don't care who gets blamed, but the GOP campaigned on jobs and high unemployment and their "fix" was a laundry list of "other" issues like repealing Obama Care, defunding National Public Radio, more funding for the Defense Of Marriage Act and pushing for more tax cuts for the rich.

    We...Will...Remember... whether we be Democrat or Tea Party....don't make promises you don't intend to keep!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  14. Conor in Chicago

    The Tea Party. No question. I think folks are starting to see that the Tea Party was not a natural reaction to the election and policies of Obama but instead a totally unnatural overreaction to it all.

    Obama was sent to the White House by and large because he wanted to tweak America into what he thought was the right direction. Whether or not his promises were empty or unattainable is beside the point. You could hardly call him radical unless you think Ayn Rand was God. By contrast the Tea Party intends to fundamentally alter every Americans relationship with the economy, the government, and really the world at large.

    In the wake of proto-Fascism in Michigan, the destruction of unions in Ohio and Wisconsin, endless and pointless social legislation like outlawing Sharia Law in OKLAHOMA I think the general public is starting to who the real radicals are. Obama wants to serve Bill Clintons 3rd term. The Tea Party wants to party like it's 1899.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Ed Reed

    I think they'll be undone by their own hypocrisy. They campaigned against Democrats claiming health care reform would weaken Medicare. Now they're on record to privatize Medicare. And if they repeal Obama Care how will 65-year-olds not be denied coverage by the insurance companies.

    They threaten to not raise the debt ceiling, but their own budget plan will increase the debt $6 trillion over the next 10 years.

    I could go on, but I know your time is limited.


    April 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  16. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua

    The Tea Party is a woman scorned, and Hell hath no fury ...

    To get GW Bush elected Karl Rove promised right wing-nuts that the gays would be made straight, that there'd be no abortions of any kind. Radicals wandered away from politics when they found out they had been played. Now history is repeating itself. It was the Republicans who created the depression and deficit. They could care less about resolving it, but they'll tell the voter what he wants to hear until they smarten up.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  17. maggieb

    Dems are the worst: Tea Party = democrats, republicans and Independents, Just hard working americans finally awake and standing up to take our country back.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  18. Ken from California

    It will probably drive the GOP to a more moderate candidate. The budget proposals coming from Congressman Ryan is scaring the sinking middle class, and yes, the older Tea Party folks, and causing the GOP more trouble.
    Both in congress, Democrat and Republican, have ongoing pet projects and are threatened by the slashing Tea Party.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Ed in Harrisburg


    Great question...it will be the Republicans themselves who will be giving themselves the greatest fits, followed by the Tea Party and then the Dems. It's the Dems to lose; but hey, this is America and nothing is impossible.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  20. Donna from Wisconsin

    Tea Party because they are sooo extreme! Don't want to compromise and get anything done. "My way or the Highway" is their motto. Plus they want to remove Obama. They are very racist people as well as non-Christian tho they profess to be. They don't want to share and continue to 'screw' the poor–not what Jesus would do!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    In my own personal and professional opinion, the Tea Party will split the GOP and help the Dems in 2012. They are too far to the right and will not compromise or in simple terms, "It's the Tea Party way or the Highway". Look at history, what happened with Ross Perot.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  22. Barbara Leavitt

    I think the tea party will~they have NO room for give and take, it's either their way or none at all and the American people are smart enough to realize that is just not how life is.

    Henderson NV

    April 21, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  23. Steve from South Florida


    Tea Party for sure. They force any Republican into such a far right corner that it will impossible for them to move anywhere near the center to win a general election.

    By the way, this couldn't make me happier!

    April 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  24. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it will be the tea party members. They will not compromise or are not opened to discussion on anything. They are already causing trouble for the speaker of the house. When I watch them in interviews on TV, they are always talking over someone and seem bull headed like some child. I think that is a shame because there are certain things that I agree with them about, but they are too far to the right for me.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  25. Dave in Arizona

    The GOP will cause their own problems. They won't need any help. Independants are sick of their positions of greed.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  26. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think that the Tea Party or the Democrats pose much of a threat in the 2012 election. The primary threat to the republicans is all the promises they made without having a way to deliver on them. Realistically Jack, neither party has done anything to significantly reduce the deficit and both contributed to it with excessive spending for a very long time. They both caused it and they both continue to create debt by spending more then they take in each year in taxes. They will once again have to raise the debt ceiling just to stay in business another year and that means we must borrow more money we don't have. Our congress has created a black hole of debt Jack with absolutely no way of escaping it short of bankruptcy.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  27. clint, Wa.

    Trump Tea Party

    April 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  28. Joe

    The tea party's going to have massive repercussions on the Republican party Jack. You can already see how the birther thing is tearing the Grand Old Party apart, and most people don't think like tea party, who will continue to divide the Republican party and alienate most Americans. It's funny how much of this is their own fault. Sure, they warmed up to the tea party at first, but as the whole birther issue continues to rear it's ugly head, they can only back away from the monster they helped create. That's some karma for you.

    April 21, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  29. Rhommy

    Rhommy , Douglasville Georgia.
    Neither Tea Party or the Democrats. The biggest problem with the GOP is the GOP itself. Although american people recognize that there has been progress in some areas of our economy, most GOPers don't see any progress at all, just listen to their rhetorics, in contrary, they would like to see the country go back in recession so they can blame the actual administration and get political gain. Buy cutting budget to even essential governement fuctions that are key to the recovery, one should think what the real motive is.we the people are observing and will decide soon who to hire (I will vote for the first time in 2012). Donald trump's nonsence added to sarah palin's ignorance are the real killers of the GOP.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  30. Gary H. Boyd

    Actually the GOP is its own worst enemy Jack. The Democrats can only sit back and laugh as the GOP conducts what's akin to an old fashioned cream pie fight. No really viable candidate has emerged, the Tea Party's far right demands make appeals to minorities and independents a problem and there appears little hope of unity anytime soon. It's really too bad because, unless the GOP can get its act together behind somebody with genuine credentials, 2012 will have been an opportunity lost.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  31. Paul, New Port Richey, Fl.

    Neither one. The biased liberal media is the worst. Sorry Jack. That includes CNN too.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  32. Lene', IL

    The Tea Party is a thorn in the side of the Republican as well as the Democrat party since 4 in 10 Tea Party members are Democrats or independents. The Republican and Democrat Parties are both very fond of and feel entitled to pick taxpayer pockets and continue wasteful spending. It is time that both parties are made to go stand in the corner with a dunce hat for their behaviors.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  33. Peg in NY

    The Tea Party will cause the problems for the Republicans. Big problems.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  34. Jane (Minnesota)

    There should be a third choice – the GOP leadership. The GOP allowed the Tea Party to partially take it over. That's the problem when a group expects all their members to vote lock-step with the leaders. They didn't allow for independent thinking and also embraced a "too far right" position on social issues that a majority of the country doesn't embrace.

    It looks self-inflicted to me, Jack!

    April 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  35. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The GOP , like the Dems, are their own worst enemy. Both parties try to cater to all elements within their parties and end up divided, confused, indecisive, undecided and not necessarily standing for anything that the country can collectively rally around.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  36. HJ

    Well the Dems are going to win the election, so they'll be an issue. But the Tea Party will also do significant damage. I think people are starting to understand the math behind our financial situation. Every time someone says "lower taxes," it hurts them. They seem simply incapable of the thought that we the people want to pay taxes, so in return we get a fully funded retirement with affordable healthcare. People WANT that. I know I want it for myself when I retire. Why in the WORLD would I want a Wall Street guy managing my healthcare when I'm 70?!? I think it will be absolutely hilarious if they manage to get cuts on our social safety net, and every janitor in the world demands a pension.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  37. Scott in Bellingham

    The Tea Party rather than attacking as a 3rd party landed in the Republican party in 2010 because they could. In 2012 the Tea Party will bowl over selected timid or moderate Republican incumbants at the caucus and primary stage as demonstrated in 2010. The Tea Party is very able.

    Certain Republican incumbants in 2012 absolutely must adapt to Tea Party ways to survive, or be swallowed up, as was seen in 2010.

    As the 2008 Obama machine is now so fractured, it is the Democrats that will have the big problem winning in the 2012 general election.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  38. Jane in CA

    It's hand in glove, Jack. The Tea party will do or say or be implicated in something that is unpopular with most Americans and the Democratic party will exploit it for all it's worth. With any luck, the Democrats will hit the party of "small government" hard with the Benton Harbor takeover giveaway of public assets orchestrated by the Republicans and see if they can get the Tea Party agitated enough to break away. (Assuming that there are some Tea Party members who actually believe what they are saying).

    April 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  39. Annie, Atlanta

    The Democrats can certainly use our social safety net to their advantage given recent poll numbers. The tea party is too extreme, and extremism finally wears thin. But the GOP rebranding themselves as the "Tax The Poor To Give To The Rich Party" may be enough all by itself. When the top 400 income earners in a country of over 300 Million own 25% or more of the wealth, we come out of our daze long enough to catch on when Republicans' every move is to give them even more.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  40. Iris in Calif

    The Tea Party will give the republicans nothing but grief! The same thing will happen with the Presidental election that happened to Meg Whitman who ran for Governor here in CA. She had to go further and further to the right to get the nomination and then had to back track most of what she said in the primary to get the moderate independents to vote for her in the general election. It did not work!

    April 21, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  41. Bonnie from NJ

    Since the democrats have lost their backbone and I think have secretly become Republicans, I have to say the tea party. Forget about Obama's birth certificate, I would like to see his voter's registration. I wish the Tea Party great success in splitting up the Republicans, it may be the only way the Democrats can stay in power.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  42. Tina Tx

    All of the above and then themselves also. When they are threatning to cut Medicare/Social Security they will have many blue haired people hacked off at them. Be careful what you wish for cause it might backfire on them.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  43. Ron Steelman

    Please make the below point

    If you took a poll in a prison that asked’ should we unlock all the doors”, the vote would turn out yes. How come nobody ever makes the point that (with all these surveys they do about who is ahead in the polls) since 50% of the people in America pay no taxes at all, why would these people ever vote for a republican? It seems to me that when the “takers” can out vote the “makers”, we are all in big trouble.

    Ron Steelman

    Long Island, NY

    April 21, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  44. Gordon NJ

    It's the Tea Party for sure. When "keep your socialist paws of my medicare" can share the same space with "shut 'r down" there's not much room for rational policies. Remember Rockefeller Republicans? They're reluctant Democrats now.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  45. Ray

    I think we should put both Ryan and Obama's proposals up for a straight up and down vote in the House and Senate. We should get on record which congressmen support which bill.

    This should include a vote on the Ryan bill in the senate too, so we know which senators would vote for the mediocare voucher program.

    This will be important to a lot of voters come 2012.

    April 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  46. Jeff in Bishop, Georgia

    Yeah, that evil Tea Party wants the government to operate within a budget, to lower taxes and to limit the overreaching power of the feds. As the democratic NY Senator Bozo Schumer said, 'that's just too extreme"

    April 21, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  47. Jim Bailey

    Voters who have come to realize that corporate robber barons have used the amoral Tea Party to strip this country to the studs will be the bane of the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats.
    Evil nerver sleeps;
    The Soviets and european fascists used the greed of corporations to attain power in the first half of the 20th century....in this century the corporations are using the zealotry, greed and ignorance of the AFP/TeaParty/Club for Growth/GOP to satisfy their gluttony.
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek Colorado

    April 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  48. andy

    tea party. they refuse to commuicate or compromise. Its their way or no way. any bill that benefits the conutry has to have no gay marriage or no abortions at all or we will vote NO!!!!!. they want their agenda and only theirs. buchmann has said on tv in fornt of 10's of thousands of people i will not vote yes on any bill regardless how it benefits the country if any money goes to planned parenthood. lets remember this party(repubs) always stands on the platform of saying smaller govt and govt has no right
    to interfer with peoples rights or life.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  49. Kevin of SD CA

    THEMSELVES!..... Is this country nothing but BLAME, SHAME, AND REGRET now? The GOP needs to get out of its own way and re-establish some real integrity and accountability or go to some Communist Country with the Democrats! They have no one to blame, shame, and regret but themselves with the state of our schools, housing market, job market, dollar value, and the glorified corporate, and social welfare that they have been funding for the last 50 years!

    April 21, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  50. Layne Alleman

    Jack, Unless they get a grip on their "extremest" wing, it's definitely themselves. With the way things are going for the "average" person,let's be real: they all act like the loons they are, and in a very short time, we all are going to pay the price. How sad that my government looks no different than the ones being defied around the world on the news each night. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  51. Mysterious, Chicago

    The Tea Party will give them heartburn. The Democrats will offer them a fishing polls.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
  52. Don Ruff

    The Republicans regularly out spin the Democrats. So, the Tea Party split in the Repubicans will be their major challenge in showing a united front and voting as a block.

    Left Over for a couple of Days ago: If Charlie Sheen runs for president, will he pair with Bree Olsen and run her as the next "First Lady of the Night?" Of course, Bree Olsen is not her real name but Charlie Sheen is not his real name either. Score one for Trump. At least he pubicly admits who his parents are.

    Ridgecrest, CA

    April 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Will

    The Tea Party will easily cause more problems. The GOP primary run will be focused on catering to the extreme wing of the party, and this will likely lead to selecting a candidate who is unelectable in the general election.

    Will, Baton Rouge, La.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  54. Larry Feierstein

    The biggest problem for Republicans to face is the outrage of the American people (if they are smart). If the wrong programs are cut, if the debt ceiling is not changed, if more people like Trump, Palin etc become the voice of Republicans it wont take long for the voters to wake up to reality.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Sue

    The dems will keep a low profile while watching the GOP self destruct. I don't think president Obama will have to raise a penny just his eyebrows at that dog and pony show.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  56. Paul P.

    Without a doubt the Tea Party. As the adage goes ' A House divided against itself cannot stand'. If you're hesitant about making statements on the campaign trail because your unsure if it'll get contradicted by members of your own party, you have a big problem. If Republicans cannot get out a consistent message they stand no chance

    April 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  57. Lou P. Roanoke, Va

    Definitely the Tea Party because it will divide the Republicans. When they speak now, the Republicans don't ignore them....

    April 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  58. birddog in Mississippi

    The problem for republicans is republicans. The republicans want to do the same things they have always wanted to do: lower taxes for the wealthy, get rid of medicare and social security, don't regulate businesses behavior, but do regulate individual's behavior.
    The problem for the republicans is that the majority of the country wants the exact opposite of all of those things. As for the tea party, it is – and always has been – nothing more than the radical base of the republican party, and even 70% of that base doesn't want cuts to medicare.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  59. AB

    Jack, It seems that the Tea Party will cause the Republicans alot more problems than the Democrats will ever cause in the 2012 Presidential Election. The same is also true of the Birther Movement which is a subset of the Tea Party Movement. Both movements are extremist, racist and very divisive. They will cost the Republican presidential nominee votes. Some of the Republican would-be presidential candidates– Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, would split the electoral vote and take votes away from the Republicans, making it more than possible for a Obama re-election win. The birther issue is a major distraction and will ruin any Republican candidacy for the Presidential 2012 Election.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  60. Thom

    I read the tea leaves in my cup this morning and the GOP is steeped in problems, the Tea Party is is over and the Dems have it in the bag for 2012. Obama can't be Trumped and Romney will Palin comparison to him. The tea leaves do not lie.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    April 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  61. David, from Plant City Florida

    Jack I am going to be honest I think the TEA party is going to destroy the Republican party from within if they do not expel them.
    The Democrats would be well served to just stand back and keep a steady message while the Republicans tear each other apart in the War between rational moderate Republicans and the extremist TEA party.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  62. Karl in Flint

    The Tea Party will be the problem, without a doubt. All the Democrats have to do is sit back pretty much silently and let the Tea Partiers demolish the Republican Party from the inside. Any Americans that agree with their big cuts and small government have no clue what either entails right now and as the next budget grinds through Congress, it would behoove the President, Democrats and reasonable Republicans, that know better, to explain what can and cannot be done in a rational realistic world. Tea Partiers want to tear down the dam but can’t see the flood it will cause. You have to methodically rebuilt that dam and not just eliminate it.The Tea Party will be the problem, without a doubt. All the Democrats have to do is sit back pretty much silently and let the Tea Partiers demolish the Republican Party from the inside. Any Americans that agree with their big cuts and small government have no clue what either entails right now and as the next budget grinds through Congress, it would behoove the President, Democrats and reasonable Republicans, that know better, to explain what can and cannot be done in a rational realistic world. Tea Partiers want to tear down the dam but can’t see the flood it will cause. You have to methodically rebuilt that dam and not just eliminate it.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  63. Jim in Alabama

    The Republicans are caught between a rock and a hard place Jack, they are trying to please the tea partiers, the extreme right, and the moderate republicans. They cannot win! The cuts that are being made and currently proposed, are harsh and unfair in terms of their distribution between the wealthy and the middle income groups. The republicans are coming off as a bunch of wealthy loving, elitists, who have no concern for the middle class or the working class americans and that's a pretty accurate assessment of them. They'll pay in 2012.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  64. Joe CE

    The T party. They will drive the nomination to some extreme reactionary who will prove unelectable in the general election. THeDems will continue to try to throw away the Presidency but won;t succeed

    April 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  65. dave from mikado mi.

    looks like the republicans shot them self in the foot(no pun intended)
    with this ghoulish creation of theirs called " the tea party"
    .......you reap what you sow!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  66. Patricia in Korea

    Tea party, obviously! The Republicans are so busy twisting themselves into characatures of themselves in order to please those lunatics to survive the primaries, they have to dance to the tune of the lunatic fringe.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  67. Joe

    The Tea Party originally came out with some sensible ideas, but now that they are revealing an extreme social agenda on top of eliminating essential care for needy people .... their argument is no longer relevant.

    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    April 21, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  68. andyz Lynn, MA

    It's far too early to tell. We have to remember that both Senator Reid and Commissar Pelosi will have multiple opportunities to say or do something so incredibly inane that they will doom the Democratic Party to extinction. As for the Tea Sippers, the low intellectual level of of candidates encourages me that they will eat their young and of their own volitional, make themselves extinct. At least one can hope.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |

    Who cares?
    I'm so sick of hearing about this party, that party and the other party.

    Iv'e have seen more work get done at a tupperware party.

    These "members only" dim wits go out of there way to discredit each other to the point where the real problems of this nation gets lost in scuffle.
    Can you imagine if we had ten parties?

    April 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  70. Dennis north carolina

    The tea party will bring down the republican party because they are the extreme small part of the republican party. they led the independent voters down a path with the false idea that they were independent of the republican party but after the vote they fell in line with the republicans. so fool me once that is my fault but you will not fool us twice.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  71. Sally in Texas

    The heyday of the tea party has come and gone. It was never anything more than the bat guano crazy base of the GOP in the first place. Seventy percent of the tea party and 78% of republicans are opposed to modest cuts to medicare in order to bring down the deficits. So what do you think they think of the fact that all of the house republicans just voted to end medicare? All the tea party people did was run on the notion that they could somehow cut gobs of spending, while never hurting the people that voted for them. It's bunk. They sell bunk. And now that bunk has been exposed.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  72. Bud Rupert

    Jack – The way things are going the The GOP better worry about the Tea Party folks voting for President Obama. Wouldn't that be a hoot!
    The poles I've seen with Tea Party people being asked if they want to see Medicare changed? 70% say NO. It's one thing when the GOP talks in abstract terms like The Debt Ceiling and Deficit reduction. Everyybody says, oh yeah, we gotta lower the debt. But when specifics are put on the table then you see a big reality check. Most Tea Partiers are lower to middle income people who need Social Security and Medicare. ..I kinda feel sorry for Ryan.....Well, on the other hand.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  73. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Neither. The lack of a serious candidate, and the lack of serious issues will cause the most problems for the GOP. They claimed in 2010 that they would work on creating jobs, but instead they voted down any proposal to create jobs, and instead attacked public workers and unions. It appears that the GOP will get the greatest amount of problems from their own deceit.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  74. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    You know Jack it's a toss up. However from watching President Obama at his town hall meetings, I'm less and less impressed with him. Get him away from a tele-promter and he is very "unimpressive", actually down right embarassing. I think the Tea party is a new political force and I think many on both Dems and Rebu's are going to die a painful death at the voting booth. If neither side does anything substatial with the budget, I believe those who we either in-effective or just non-participating on either side of the aisle are going to get axed. I don't think it's a party issue anymore, I think it's a "I'm fed up with the FED, and I'm going to vote something about it" issue.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  75. Kim Smith

    Tea Party, Republican Party, Democratic Party, what's the difference. These guys are all on the take from somebody and that means that they all fear an educated, and well informed, voting public. At this point they should worry more about the problems corporate America is creating.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
  76. Kevin

    Jack, it will be the tea party of course. The GOP couldn't get enough of this so called "grass roots" organization, now that they have gone off the reservation the GOP wants to distance themselves, well they are a day late and a dollar short. The tea party is a scary glimpse of what would happen should the GOP ever come to power.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  77. John ...........Marltron NJ

    Neither, the only real pressure to the GOP is mainstream media that is beholden to the image of political correctness they created, even at the expense of our country.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  78. Jenny from Nanuet, NY

    The Tea Party will cause the GOP more problems. Not only because they are ignorant, but they want the people they vote for to be ignorant, too.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  79. John Moore - New Britain, PA

    Jack, The Tea Party is morphing into a Right Wing extremist group rather than the grass roots intiative to reduce government spending that attracted quite a crowd. Maybe this right of center position was always what those behind the Tea Party wanted but now that ideology is in plain sight it is will be detrimental to the GOP. More than 60% of Americans are centrists looking for a party to support.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  80. ellen

    The Tea Party has a lot of grey haired members, when you ask them what they want cut in the budget usually they are against trimming back S. S. and Medicare since it would personally affect them This makes it difficult for the GOP to really stand on deficit reduction that is meaningful Yes, they will really mess up the GOP. who are trying to cater to them.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  81. Robby Bowling

    The democrats & Obama's one billion dollars. Their trying to buy the presidency with lies, scare tactics, class warfare, racism, playing the blame game & creating dependency's on social programs that keep these crony social engineers in power. The Tea Party just want's our country back . The Tea Party is a problem for both party's.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  82. Terry in Hanover

    None of the above. The voters will cause more problems for the GOP than they ever dreamed possible now that almost all of the Republicans in the House decided to fall in lock step behind Paul Ryan although Ryan is right about trickle-down economics: the rich do create jobs - for their rich friends and members of Congress while looking down their noses at the middle class and poor. It's time to fire our spoiled, overpaid members of Congress. BTW, did anyone else notice that neither the House nor Senate cut their wages or benefits as part of the "shared sacrifice" they've inflicted upon 90% of us? It's time to give both parties a drastic pay cut. I can't wait for the 2012 election.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  83. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    The Tea Party will likely cause them to lose 5 Senate seats (Arizona, Maine, Texas, Nevada, Kentucky) with two additional moderate Republicans switching to the Democrats (Alaska, Maine). The Democratic seats, even the open ones, are likely holds as well. If the economy is anything close to recovered, current Tea Party members in the 62 Obama districts held by the GOP are also likely losses.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  84. Ralph Spyer

    The Tea Party will help the Grand Old Party,it their base. Big money has no party they just want to back a winner ,so he or she will not rock the boat. It looks like Wall street and the big banks or federal reserve will stay with Obama some refromer ? WE have a choice Diet Pipsi or Diet Coke

    April 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  85. Dee in New Paris Ohio

    Probably the Tea Party folks. And the problems they might cause will most likely stem from their potential to divide the Republican Party.

    Of course the same divisiveness may hurt the Democrats, if the Party cannot stick together, forget differences, and work to maintain power.

    IMHO the Democrats are their own worst enemies, becuse they seem to not be able to field really strong candidates when they need them. And they seem to lack the guts to really stand together. That could really affect the 2012 elections, maybe more than any efforts of the Republicans or the Tea Party.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  86. Bill

    The Tea Party will be the republican's problem for 2012.

    If the republican's begin enacting the Tea Party's proposals in 2013, then the democrats will be the republican's problem in 2016.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  87. Sandstone.

    "Today, and yesterday; In would have to say the Tea Party, but there is a long time to go yet; so I would expect the GOP to get the better advantage, where as the Dem's will get no help from anyone.Not even the Unions this time!"

    April 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  88. Donald in New Mexico

    Republicans are in for trouble next year because they are in denial about the so called "Tea Party" being anything more than the extreme right of the Republican Party. The trouble has already started with the T Party driving the Republican agenda. They will drive the party to nominate a candidate that will be as non-electable as they did in the Nevada (Angle) and Connecticut (I am not a witch) senate races. Then there are the Democrats. Sounds like a loss both ways. They all need to put social issues aside and work together to get our economy on track. Where are the JOBS? Has the T Party wing of the Republican party ever mentioned a word about jobs? A lot of them seem to be out of work and spending a lot of time protesting.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  89. Gigi Oregon

    I think the best thing Democrats should do is keep mum and let the conservative and ultra conservative battle it out. The ultra conservative are too combative and a danger to our democratic Republic. If the Tea Party wins it will be the end of the little democracy that we have left in the US. But then again this is how Capitalism works. The larger eats up the weaker.

    The Republicans had better start focusing on which is the enemy. They will have to learn to "cooperate" with one or the other. A word they don't understand.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  90. Angela Savage Austin Owings Mills, Maryland

    Lack of solutions Jack!

    April 21, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  91. Derrick

    Themselves period.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  92. Al Alvizo

    The Tea Party can become a problem for the Republicans. The Democrats will cause them to unite while the Tea Party can cause to divide.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  93. Peter Bonafonte, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    I would posit that the GOP will cause them self more problems then Tea party or Dems. 2nd most will come from Tea party. Any republican that openly embraces the tea party will be shunned by independents. Dems only need to consistantly paint the GOP as unfeeling, uncaring and wedded to big business.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  94. Brian

    The Tea Party is destrying the GOP from within. The writing is on the wall.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  95. Julie

    The Tea Party for sure. Can you imagine a debate with Trump, Bachman and Palin. The GOP should put it on pay for view – they would make a fortune. I'd never vote for any of them, but sure would like the entertainment of their debate.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  96. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, whenever one of the major parties moves to its extreme side, it self destructs in the presidential election. Think back to 1996, when the religious right took over the platform and Dole took it on the chin. This time, the GOP may actually nominate a winger who walks the walk and talks the talk. It will be a disaster for the party. Of course, if they win, it will be a disaster for the country.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  97. Nicholas Weil

    Are you kidding? The Tea Party is no threat at all because the Republican party EQUALS the Tea Party already. There are no mainstream Republicans anymore–ANY conservation of natural resources, ANY taxes, and ANY gun control is out of the question, even in feel-good rhetoric, let alone actual legislation.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    The GOP will be tripping all over itself. We all know what happens to a party divided! Obama gets second term.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Matt, Little Rock

    Neither the Tea Party, nor the Democrats are the big threat to Republicans. Unhappy Independents are their biggest threat. If Trump actually carries out his threat to run for President, and runs as an Independent, it will be a danger to both parties, and a message that they need to shape up, and reform, as both are dangerously out of touch with the people of this country.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Mike C from S. Hadley

    To close to call – They will cause us all problems – any group so misguided and ignorant- who are so easily led with lies and propaganda – who will repeatedly vote against their own and their grandkids best interest... its bound to be a tie. And yes I will say it- they have just a dash of racism thats another problem.

    Mike C

    April 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Ken in NC

    Neither. Try "The Donald". He made the statement that he was going to be Obama's worst nightmare. Well he's more like the Republicans worst nightmare and I'm loving it.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  102. Thom in Va

    Simply put, the GOP should fear the ramifications of the Medicare/ Medicaid overhaul....The Dems and Tea Party will be the leat of their worries.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  103. Cee, La

    The TPers are going to give the Repubs the biggest problem in 2012...the majority of Americans want thoughtful spending cuts...but they dont want their draconian social agenda...... forced on them......and the Dems will capitilize on the fallout......

    April 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  104. James Beckett

    The Tea party will cause the GOP the greatest problems. The political spectrum is polarized as never before. Even disaffected Democrats are not going to turn Republican. The Republicans have been stirring a debt pot that was their doing in the first place. The GOP will be very weak going into the 2012 election, as they should be. There has never been such grandstanding and non sense in government as we have witnessed in the past months. The Tea party and its appeal is a direct result of Republicans losing site and playing unnecessary hardball, in the face of deteriorating National circumstances.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  105. Phil

    Definitely the Tea Party Jack. Republicans will have to play to the center to win but because of the Tea Party, their platform is all over the ideological map. Heard a great line the other day Jack that illustrates my point perfectly. "If the Republican party shifted to the right,who would know?"

    April 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  106. StoopTroup

    The Tea Party, Trump and the lack of any real Republicans that aren't using the term "We are weighing out our options" as they semi-announce their run for President of the United States....The Republican Party makes themselves look weak, unprepared and completely OK with just having power in Congress and letting Barack Obama play out his lock on the Presidency for an entire 8 years.

    If they play this out and the Democrats do a good job and 2016 comes around....the American People will begin to understand just how badly President Bush's Administration sunk our Country into this debt.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  107. Holger Jensen in Colorado

    The Tea Party and the GOP are one these days and the growing lunacy of what they advocate will be their undoing. They're against education because they know that only a nitwit would vote for them. They're against poor people because they can't contribute to their re-election campaigns. They're against blacks, Latinos, unions, women's rights, child labor laws and a minimum wage. They're for Wall Street, insurance companies, big oil and tax breaks for billionaires - everything the average American would vote against. And even the Tea Partiers, when questioned in a recent poll, voted by more than 70 percent NOT to cut Medicare.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  108. Joseph Osmann

    Jack, I guess the Tea Party folks want to go back to the good-old-days of the Bush administration. More tax cuts for the rich will fix everything, especially if the cops, teachers and seniors make up the difference.
    If the Tea Party geniuses don't remember who created the deficit, they surely don't know about 18th century France. We can just eat cake. That work so well before, until 1789.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  109. elaine Rosa

    We can only hope the Tea Party causes the Republicans lots of problems. Hang on to your wallets folks! Just how ignorant are the American people? Palin/Trump, Trump/Bachman, Paul/Trump, Bachman/Palin, and so on. It will be great late night TV.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  110. Ron, Prescott

    Between the Tea Party and the Donald, the Dems will be the least of the GOP's trouble. They should disassociate themselves from both of these distracting disturbances, especially when the Tea Party blantently was more than willing to shut down the goverment to prove a point, whatever that was.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  111. RickFromDetroit

    My guess is it will depend on what the economy looks like in 2012. Many people are sick & tired of both parties spending all of the taxpayers money on wall street when the part of the economy that needs stimulus is the lower income areas.
    I think it is time for the Congress to pass a single piece of legislation that requires an agenda for the Congress to follow that puts the people first and holds all Elected Officials criminally responsible for their vote on an issue. This would eliminate the constant bickering between elections and would make campaign contributions useless since the Elected Official would go to jail for voting violations, but this is very unlikely to happen since campaigns are fast becoming a major employer in this Country and soon will equal Hollywood Actors, Professional Sports, Lawyers, Wall Street, and the Banking Industry.

    With all of these high tech industries that we are specializing in, we should have the first Talent Scout contest on Mars, after Europe & Asia build a colony.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  112. Tom Zuhlke

    The Tea Party will cause much more difficulty for the GOP. They appeal to the more extreme WIN/LOSE reaction to problem solving. They also are far more emotional than rational, even when they try to appear Palinesque, a disguised intellectual approach. The result is more alienation, polarization and divisiveness. Instead of a WIN/WIN approach with problem clarification and values prioritization to achieve a balance and a continued processing, the Tea Party says the only drink in town is Tea, as we serve it up.

    Hence, the next election will cost the GOP all of the Republican votes that go to Tea.

    Kudos to President Obama, who is demonstrating compromise and negotiation.

    Tom from Berlin WI

    April 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  113. Tony

    Neither. They should blame themselves for all the rubbish they have been peddling for the past few years. Unfortunately, many believe in the rubbish. However it will bite them where a pill won't reach!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm |

    The tea party, like all third parties will fizzle out like a fourth of July rocket. All flash and very little bang.
    When the cuts affect them they will take thier bat and ball and go home. As long as the programs cut are not thiers they will be happy.
    The repb and Dems will pick up what is left of them in 2012.
    End of story. METALWORKER

    April 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  115. Renee Peoria,Ill

    It's a toss-up. The tea party wants smaller govt., but like most Americans they want their Medicaire left alone. The GOP is intent on doing just the opposite. They're also trying to deny poor women access to medical care through Planned Parenthood under the guise of anti-abortionism. That not only hit the fan real fast it's big govt. telling us what we can and cannot do. Union busting, ties to the Koch brothers, pay-offs from oil companies, etc. In the end the tea party and the Dems are less of a threat to Republicans than they are to themselves.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  116. Rose

    The Tea Party is a bigger problem, because they will probably self-implode by next year, since they seem to be lost in their own lack of identity. Right now, they're fighting against the same things they were fighting for over the last 2 years. When the health care debate came about, you could see plenty of signs at their protests that read "Keep your hands off my Medicare!" Now that Paul Ryan and the GOP are trying to pass a pathetic budget that will turn Medicare into a crappy voucher system, now they're all for it.

    And now that Donald Trump is pretending to throw his hat into the ring for 2012, they're following in line behind him as if he were the Pied Piper, which seems appropriate, since the job of the Pied Piper was to lure the rats out of town.

    Get the popcorn ready, and keep your fingers crossed – I have a feeling they're about to get punk'd!


    April 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  117. Wallace Nelms

    The Tea Party will be the downfall of the Republican Party if the powers that be in the Republican Party don't tell these clowns to go back to the Circus from which they came. The Tea Party has not candidate, no orginization to mention of, and no money. They are riding the Republican Band Wagon.... free. Wake UP GOP ! Tell the Tea Party to take a hike. What are they gonna do? Not vote Republican.... don't think so Have their own candidate..... don't think so ... so what are they going to do if the Republican Party tells the Tea Party to GO BACK FROM WHICH YOU CAME !!!!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  118. Jim


    Remember George Wallace and Ralph Nader? Both major political parties have been plagued by extremist elements before, but cooler heads have always prevailed. The real problem for the GOP is that cooler heads in their ranks are in unprecedented short supply. There was a time when GOP stood for Grand Old Party and boasted such statesmen as Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, and the old John McCain, men whose love for America and Americans was obvious and unquestioned. Today, the GOP, the Generators Of Propaganda, offer us caricatures like Palin, Trump, and the new John McCain (you remember him – he ran last time). The GOP's problem is that it is lost in a swamp and can't find its way back. The Tea Party is simply the latest wart on an increasingly ugly toad.

    Reno, Nevada

    April 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  119. David , Laguna Niguel CA

    Jack, so what you are trying to say is that following the Constitution is an extreme point of view. Unfortunately many of the nonTea Party Republicans have become Blue Dog Democrats, which is why the deficits have grown every year, regardless which party controls Congress or the White House.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  120. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    How about stupidity, That old crap of trying to scare the people with their doomsday politics won't cut it any more, they've rode that horse into the ground. And that old garbage about the millionairs need a tax cut to hire more people won't cut it any more either. In the past when they've gotten a tax decrease they used the money to buy more bonds. When people making more than 500K realize that the Republicans don' do a damn thing to help them then an only then will we see changes that benefit all the american people.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  121. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Both parties are walking a tight rope right now and neither have a good safety net. Republicans have thrown the baby out with the bath water, that being senior citizens and baby boomers, in their attempt to satisfy the tea party. There'll be a lot of finger pointing going on between the Republicans and Tea Party people and it won't be because of the Democrats.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  122. Stephanie

    The problem will be the candidates and eventual candidate will have to try to appeal to the tea party and win Independents at the same time. In other words try to speak out of both sides of their mouths without the voters from each group noticing.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  123. Kevin in CA

    After the Dem's performance on Healthcare, I doubt they are a problem for the Republicans. However, the Libertarians ( aka Tea Party) are the real headache for the Republicans.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  124. Dave

    Extremism is not voting to have a balanced budget. The government is like a crack addict and we need to weed the government off of our money and not raising the debt ceiling up is the quickest way to help the government do it.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  125. Patrick in Mi.

    Politcal Whiplash from a fickle electorate that is finding out what of their benefits are being eliminated.
    do you remeber the old addage "nimby" not in my back yard.cut their benefits not mine ....that's what i elected you for.them not me!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  126. richard a. winkler

    Neither, Trump will cause them the most problems.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  127. Tonie from OK

    If the Democrats don't win back the house then something is wrong in America. I thnk the Republicans have over reached trying to win the Whitehouse back. Where are the jobs, they promised?

    April 21, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  128. Guy

    Jack. If we keep playing the game of one party vs. the other party all the time, and instead focus on what's actually good for this country, the current situation in Washington will continue as it has in the past. It would be so refreshing if a candidate would run based on the "right" thing to do vs. appeasing a party or group. Let's change to focus.

    April 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm |