The Tea Party, which played a prominent role in several Republican primaries in 2010, has set its sights on removing more "Establishment" Republicans in the 2012 primaries.
Yesterday, the Tea Party Express organization endorsed Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his primary challenge to sitting Indiana Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar for the Republican nomination for the Senate. Lugar has been criticized by Tea Party activists for voting for the Wall Street bailouts and, reportedly, for his “attitude of disdain for the Tea Party movement.”
The Tea Party Express was behind four large Tea Party victories in the 2010 Republican primaries. Joe Miller in Alaska, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Mike Lee in Utah were all backed by the Tea Party Express and won the Republican nominations for the Senate in their respective states.
Two of them, Miller and Lee, defeated sitting Republican senators for the nominations and another, O’Donnell, defeated a sitting Republican congressman running for the Senate nomination.
Tea Party activists have also set their sights on removing Speaker of the House John Boehner in the 2012 primaries.
Tea Party activist David Lewis announced in mid-September 2011 to the Cincinnati Enquirer that he intends to challenge Boehner in the Republican primary for Boehner’s 8th Congressional District seat in Ohio.
Boehner has been criticized for his support of a federal budget which provided funding for Planned Parenthood, one of the largest abortion providers in the nation.