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The tea party rises again, fight to defund Obamacare

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28 2013 6:24 p.m. MDT

Tea-party senators — Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky. — joined Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in fighting to defund Obamacare because each member of the “big three” has an eye on running for president in the 2016 election.

Shawn Dowd, AP

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If you thought the tea party was a thing of the past, think again.

A front-page article in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal reported that during the past couple months, donations have tripled and staffing has doubled at Tea Party Patriots — “the tea party’s largest umbrella group.”

“After a tough 2012 election season, the tea-party movement is on the rebound (and) riding a revival of interest sparked by controversy over the IRS's much-publicized targeting of conservative groups,” Monica Langley wrote for the Journal. “Public-opinion polls suggest the controversy has helped the movement's image. In a June 15 Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 51 percent of Republicans said they had a positive view of the tea party, up from 42 percent in January, but still below the 63 percent recorded in December 2010.”

On the Washington Post political blog The Fix, Sean Sullivan reported Tuesday afternoon that three tea-party senators — Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky. — joined Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, in fighting to defund Obamacare because each member of the “big three” has an eye on running for president in the 2016 election.

“(They) are fighting a losing battle to defund Obamacare that is going nowhere fast on Capitol Hill,” Sullivan wrote. “And yet, they each stand to gain politically from the crusade that is doomed to failure in part because, well, it is doomed to failure. …

“If, as expected, the Lee plan continues to go nowhere, what Rubio, Paul and Cruz can all basically say about their fight against Obamcare is, ‘Hey, we gave it our all on this crucial issue.’ And that’s a powerful argument to make … in a GOP presidential primary in which candidates often jockey for the conservative high ground.”

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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