The GOP presidential candidates faced off last night before an audience of 1,000 Tea Party activists in Tampa, Florida. Gov. Rick Perry, who has surged to the front of the race since entering last month, faced heavy scrutiny from his seven challengers over his record as governor of Texas, including a state order to vaccinate girls against HPV and college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants. Mitt Romney, the other front runner, criticized Perry over his past assertion that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme."
Texas governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry is not backing down from his threat against Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. At an event in Iowa on Monday, Perry said that it would be treason if the Fed were to print more money. The Federal Reserve is no stranger from receiving criticism, but where left-wing politicians were formerly it's biggest critics, more recently conservatives like Ron Paul have been lashing out against the Fed.
The House of Representatives passed a landmark deal yesterday as the United States inched closer to defaulting on its debts. As the bill makes its way over to the Senate many are noting the influence that the Tea Party had on the outcome. During the debate, some Republican freshman members were urging leaders not to make any concessions, and some felt any increase in the debt ceiling was out of the question. How will these new Tea Party members react to Speaker Boehner's compromise?
On the insistence of House Republicans, the U.S. Constitution will be read from beginning to end today on the floor of the House of Representatives. This may prove a fitting overture to what could be a Congressional session filled with Constitutional battles. Is this reading a stunt or a significant symbol of how Congress will work?
Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is one of several politicians spearheading a proposal for re-balancing state and federal power, through what's being called the "repeal amendment." The amendment to the Constitution would, with a vote of 33 states' legislatures, give states the ability to repeal any federal law passed in Congress. Virginia has a long history of states' rights activism — in response to the federally-mandated desegregation of schools in the 1950s, state leaders responded with "massive resistance," choosing to privatize some school districts to prevent integration. As the South commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Confederacy, is this new emphasis on states' rights a step towards secessionism?
For Tea Partiers, last night's race was a mixed bag. Tea Party candidates did well in states that were already red, like Kentucky, and South Carolina, but failed to make gains in bluer states like Delaware. In Nevada, Sharron Angle, one of the most notorious Tea Party Republicans, lost to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the state's wildly unpopular Democratic Senator.
The NAACP and the Tea Party are feuding again. The civil rights organization has released a report called "Tea Party Nationalism" that has renewed accusations that the Tea Party groups “have given platform to anti-Semites, racists and bigots.” Tea Partiers are again disputing that claim.
It has been a successful primary season thus far for The Tea Party, especially with a surprising victory for Christine O'Donnell over former two-term governor and nine-term Congressman, Mike Castle, to win the Republican nomination for the Senate race in Delaware, Tuesday night.
What do these Tea Party wins mean for the Republican Party, and is the GOP shifting on the political spectrum?
Kate Zernike is a reporter for The New York Times, and the author of Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America.
We also want to know from you: Are you moving along the political spectrum this election season? Are you finding yourself moving further left or further right this year? Let us know in the comments or text it to 69866 with the word TAKE.
Kate Zernike looks inside the Tea Party movement—where it came from, what it stands for, and what it means for the future of American politics. In Boiling Mad: Inside Tea Party America, she shows how the Tea Party movement emerged and explains that it’s important to understand the movement to understand American politics in 2010 and beyond.
On Tuesday, Florida's voters head to the polls to vote in primaries for U.S. Senate and governor. Sergio Bustos, state politics editor at The Miami Herald, and Kate Zernike, reporter for our partner The New York Times, describe how the races have been shaping up and what we can expect on Tuesday. Plus, we'll find out what the Sunshine State can tell us about the national political mood.
The Seattle Police department is reporting that they have shot and killed Maurice Clemmons, the man accused of killing four police officers over the weekend. Past convictions for robberies, burglaries and thefts plaster his rap sheet. We speak to KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy, who has been following this story out in Seattle, and New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, who is writing the story for today's Times.
Listen to our earlier interview with KUOW reporter Liz Jones: