After a string of late spring primaries in which many Tea Party candidates gained nominations, some prominent conservatives have criticized the movement for what they see as its extreme agenda that threatens to turn off moderate voters in November.
In recent comments to The New York Times, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said that the movement is “unsustainable” and will “die out” because it does not have a long-term coherent vision. Graham also expressed his concern that the GOP has moved too far to the right.
The senator, who is a known moderate, stated that “everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration, talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the Tea Party movement’s at.”
These comments have upset representatives of the National Tea Party Federation, who called on Graham to apologize for what they see as insulting comments.
Mark Lloyd, chairman of the Lynchburg, Va. Tea Party, said that the South Carolina Senator’s words demonstrate that he is out of touch with regular Americans who are becoming ever more engaged politically.
“The growth in the number of conservative grassroots political organizations, including those considering themselves ‘Tea Party’ is increasing rapidly, much to his dismay, and to the dismay of his fellow Washington elites,” he stated.