Kibbe says FreedomWorks is also looking to make gains for Tea Party candidates in Arkansas and Alaska come 2014 and says he’s not concerned about protecting Republican incumbents--as Republican strategist Karl Rove has advocated in some cases--if they don’t represent Tea Party interests.FreedomWorks was the first "serious" outfit to back Richard Mourdock's primary bid in Indiana, at a time when incumbent Sen. Dick Lugar had commanding general-election leads. But let's pretend that never happened.
“Maybe it's good if you're a sitting senator, but it's not good for the Republican Party and it's certainly not good for public policy,” [FreedomWorks President Matt] Kibbe says.
When asked about cases when a Tea Party candidates beats out an incumbent in the primary but then loses in the general election, Kibbe says: “Generally, I don't think that's true. If you can't win a primary, the supposition that you can win the general is pretty questionable. Competition is better.”
Then there was Lisa Murkowski's primary loss in 2010. FreedomWorks was all over that race as well, supporting conservative nutbag Joe Miller. Then Murkowski won the general. With a write-in campaign. Let's also pretend that never happened.
I guess there was the ouster of Utah Sen. Bob Bennett at the state party convention in 2010, that replaced a 100 percent conservative with, uh, another 100 percent conservative (Mike Lee). I'm sure that was pretty exciting for them, regardless. And of course, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss was scared into retirement at the mere thought of a challenge.
So now they're targeting South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has spent all year trying to win the hearts and minds of teabaggers everywhere by filibustering Chuck Hagel. Because of Benghazi. And still the love is unrequited! And they can do so, clear conscience, because that whole unpleasant Mourdock thing never happened.
Meanwhile, Democrats have a bona fide pickup opportunity in a changing Georgia, while South Carolina threatens to become the Indiana of 2014. For a cycle bereft of Democratic Senate pickup opportunities, Democrats will gladly take the help.