Tyler Tea Party leaders react to GOP debate - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Tyler Tea Party leaders react to GOP debate

By Lauren Callahan

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - CNN co-hosted a Republican presidential debate Monday night with the Tea Party Express.

Tyler Tea Party Chairperson Tammy Blair said she wasn't impressed.

"I missed the Tea Party part of it because what I saw was CNN, and CNN and the Tea Party don't go together," she said.

Blair said she would have liked to see a more conservative moderator keeping the Republican candidates accountable.

"When Michele Bachmann makes a statement that shows she really doesn't understand federalism, call her on it," Blair said.

Tyler attorney and Tea Party member Ken Good said he supports Bachmann, but is also interested in Texas Governor Rick Perry, the current GOP frontrunner.

"Romney represents the establishment part of the party, Bachmann represents the tea party camp, and I think Perry bridges the two camps," he said. "And I think that's why he's doing so well at the moment."

But Good acknowledges Perry's record in Texas may stand in his way of the nomination.

"I think tea parties in Texas have been disappointed, especially in the last legislative session, that Perry would say one thing and then do another thing. And so I think they have questions in their mind."

Blair and Good are both concerned that most candidates are saying what the Tea Party wants to hear now, and may say something else entirely to a different group.

"They'll say anything," she said. "They just want that office."

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