Wadhams says CO Tea Party is now “part of the Republican establishment”

(That's not a compliment, is it? – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Dick Wadhams.

Dick Wadhams.

An important storyline for reporters to track coming out of the Republican Party's state convention this weekend is, simply, how are Colorado Republicans getting along with each other these days?

To hear former state GOP Chair Dick Wadhams tell it, historic divisions between the Tea Party and establishment wings of the party are now over because the Tea Party is now "part of the Republican establishment:"

Wadhams: All those new activists that brought so much vitality to our party since 2010, this is now their third election cycle of being involved. They're part of the Republican establishment now! [Laughs] After they've been involved three times, they've been elected country chairs. They've been elected party precinct committee people. They've been involved in the party. The fact is, they are playing as big a role in the party as the establishment is. Where the breakdown occurs, Dan, is when we nominate candidates who can't win a general election. [BigMedia emphasis.]

…I do think there was a misperception when the Tea Party first became such a force in 2010, that there was a process that basically shut them out of nominating candidates, that there was some kind of small power group that determined who the candidates were going to be. Nothing is further from the truth.

The nominating process of the Republican Party is as open and fair as you can think, because the people who show up at precinct caucuses and the people who show up and vote at the Republican primary, are the people who nominate candidates, not a handful of people sitting in a back room. In fact, we did some things when I was state chairman to empower that grassroots movement.

That's what Wadhams told KNUS yapper Dan Caplis April 3, without addressing, among other GOP-establishment power plays, the epic backroom deal that cleaned the Republican senatorial primary field for Cory Gardner.

Wadhams also said, if there's any animosity within the Republican party–over divisions about the 2005 Referendum C tax increase, for example–Tea Party activists should just get over it:

Wadhams: If Republicans are still talking about that, they need to get over it. First of all, that's also an attack on former Governor Owens. Fine, disagree with Governor Owens and his administration on Referendum C. But give the guy credit. He's the only guy to win the governorship in 40 years. So he had something special that a whole bunch of other candidates didn't have.

This weekend's state Republican convention will illuminate whether Wadhams is right about oneness within the state GOP, and, whether he's right or wrong, this will likely be the biggest story that emerges from the convention.

14 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    I'm not sure, Jason – is Wadhams saying that all is forgiven, or blaming the TP for candidates who can't win the general? I think his comments could be interpreted either way. Of course it's Friday and beauitful outside, which does terrible things to my reasing comprehension all by itself. 🙂

  2. DawnPatrol says:

    This grown-up Jake Harper clone could not be more mistaken. The Baggers have not and will not go qiuietly. Have you ever spent much time talking to these folks? nothing will placate them. Nothing. Hatred and deep-seated resentment are the sickness; anger, terminal victimhood and self-righteousness the primary symptoms. Jake — er, Wadhams — is simply whistling past the graveyard, hoping that by so pronouncing, he can will it into being. It's the same thing the GOP does on most issues, actually. A lie repeated often enough…

    The GOP bulit this freak out of their lust for power and money. Let 'em suffer. Laugh at them.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    Sounds to me like Wadhams is embracing the insanity that the GOP has come to represent.

  4. dustpuppydustpuppy says:

    The Tea Party Machine will be destroyed as well as the Republicans continue to infight amoung themselves.

    I am waiting on Ryan Call's opinion on the Tea Party scumbags.



  5. Old Time Dem says:

    The TP has always been the GOP's crazy aunts and uncles.  They're simply today's name for the John Birch Society/Goldwater Republican/Buchanan branch of the party.

  6. Golden GirlGolden Girl says:

    The sad (happy) truth is Wadhams is no longer the go-to-man for what's happening in the CO Republican party.  I'm not sure there really is one, come to think of it.

  7. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    I want more Tea Party influence in my GOP: The Party of Hate®.

  8. Early WormEarly Worm says:

    I predict the Tea Party will recede, in profile and influence, when the next president is sworn in. It does not matter who it is, as long as their skin is the "proper" color.  

  9. skeptical citizen says:

    The Republican establishment is increasingly fragmented and extremist.

    Consider their different tribes: Tea Party, Corporate conservative, Neocon, Libertarian, Theocon.

    Which tribe will be supported by the tsunami of campaign donations?

    Pass the popcorn, please.

  10. Urban Snowshoer says:

    dustpuppy wrote: <i>The Tea Party Machine will be destroyed as well as the Republicans continue to infight amoung themselves</i>.


    The rise and fall of the Tea Party and Republican Party infighting are inextricably linked. The fight for the future of the Republican hasn’t been settled yet. The Tea Party have cost the Republican Party elections; when they do manage to get elected, they have proven incapable of governing. Anger can win elections for a period but sooner or later a party has to come up with something beyond anger if they want to stay in power.  

    As this fight continues the Republicans have to decide what’s more important:

    (1) A  party that is doctrinaire conservative and doesn’t care about governing, or being competitive on a national level.

    (2) A party with strong competitiveness and competently govern.


    A party that heads in the direction of number one is on a unsustainable collision course. Assuming the Republican Party doesn’t want to go extinct, they’ll eventually reach number two—the question is how many elections to they have to lose before they get there.    

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