In a statement, former Senate candidate Sharron Angle defended the "tea… (Julie Jacobson / Associated…)
Reporting from Washington — "Tea party" icon Sharron Angle lashed back at John McCain Thursday, ridiculing him as a creature of the political establishment and highlighting the deep fissures within the GOP that the debt-ceiling debate have again laid bare.
Angle, who failed in her bid to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada last year, wasted little time in responding to McCain, who, quoting a Wall Street Journal editorial, derided tea party politicians as “hobbits” a day earlier.
Angle referenced McCain’s support of the Wall Street bailouts in a statement.
“As in the fable, it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land. This Lord of the TARP actually ought to read to the end of the story and join forces with the Tea Party, not criticize it,” Angle said. “It is regrettable that a man seeking dialogue, action and cooperation for votes on the floor of the United States Senate has only one strategy to achieve that effort: name-calling. Nice.”
In citing the Wall Street Journal editorial board, McCain placed himself in the camp of Republicans who believe that the party should obtain the best deal it can in spending cuts, while ensuring that the debt ceiling is raised to avert a federal default. In pushing for no-go provisions such as a balanced budget amendment, he said, tea party conservatives and other opponents of House Speaker John A. Boehner’s debt-ceiling bill were risking a national crisis — along with a massive blow to the GOP’s national image.
Angle, like other tea party favorites such as Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, oppose raising the debt ceiling. And several tea party-aligned members of the House have said they will vote against Boehner’s bill when it comes to the floor Thursday evening.
“Sen. McCain can continue on with his borrowed soliloquies, just as he can continue to vote to raise our nation’s debt ceiling – all in an effort to spend money that we don’t have, to fund programs and policies that don’t work, with a currency that continues to lose its value,” she said.
McCain was criticized by Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-Fla.) as well Thursday.
“Senator McCain has lost his way again,” Mack said in a tweet. “Hey Senator, we are Republicans and we are over here. Please join us.”
And freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told CNN that McCain's comments were "bizarro."
"It's bizarro and insulting for a guy like John McCain, who's been here for so long. It's politicians like him that have gotten us to this point where we have a government we can't afford," Walsh said. "I mean, shame on him for saying that, for going after those of us who were elected six months ago to change the way guys like him have operated in this town forever.