WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats are planning to link the tea party and Republicans,
overlapping the two groups to paint the GOP as a party of
extremists and the grassroots activists as tools of the
Democratic National Committee sources say the party's strategy
is to pose the November midterm elections as a contest between
Democrats and a joint GOP-tea party plan for the country. The
sources spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official
launch of the plan Wednesday by DNC Chairman Tim Kaine.
Democrats plan to cite tea party activists' statements and GOP
support and introduce a "Republican-Tea Party Contract With
America," a send-up of the 1994 GOP Contract With America that
helped Republicans win control of the House for the first time in
Democrats plan to say the tea party is "the most potent force in
Republican politics," according to a DNC source familiar with the
Democrats plan to point to the Tea Party Caucus on Capitol Hill
and its high-powered members, including Rep. Pete Sessions, who
runs the GOP's effort to elect House candidates, and Republican
Caucus Chairman Mike Pence. Both have voiced support for the Tea
Party Caucus and have been strong supporters of lawmakers who have
wrapped themselves in its anti-tax, smaller-government, libertarian
The Democrats, sensitive to last summer's backlash over
President Barack Obama's health care bill during town hall-style
meetings, plan to send their incumbents home for the August recess
armed with a message that the fringe tea party candidates and
Republican lawmakers are the same.
"We are also going to use this from now until the election as a
pre-emptive strike against GOP's August rebranding effort," the
Democratic source said.
Democrats plan to present a 10-point blueprint on how
Republicans beholden to the tea party would govern. The Democratic
official said the plan would dovetail with what House Democrats
planned in their districts while on August recess.