Local Tea Party activists do not foresee support of Sen. Hatch in 2012

One local Tea Party official thinks it is unlikely Sen. Orrin Hatch will count the party among his supporters, should he seek re-election. “I doubt it,” said Michelle King, spokesperson for the Cache Valley Tea Party Coalition. “He got a lot of blow back when a member of the Tea Party Express said they wouldn’t be targeting him. A lot of the Tea Party leadership throughout Utah sent him a scathing e-mail saying, ‘No, don’t try and speak for us in Utah, we aren’t going to support you…’ and that they were going to work against him. “I think people have long memories and even though he is trying really hard to do better, there are just some things people aren’t going to forget and they want somebody who’s going to be consistent.” Tea Party leadership claims to support fiscal responsibility and limited government. That includes seeking cuts in government spending. “A lot of people want cuts in social benefits, welfare. A huge thing right now is Social Security, it’s going bankrupt and it’s unsustainable, and I think that’s probably one of the biggest things we would like to have taken care of.” King admits the Tea Party wants changes made to Medicare as well, “but that would be a harder beast to take care of.” She said there might not be as much consensus about cuts in defense spending. “I personally think we need to cut defense spending quite a bit. We are spending way too much time minding business that is not ours, getting too involved in foreign governments instead of just leaving them to themselves. It’s fueling a lot of anger toward our country. I think that’s a place they could do a significant amount of cutting. But you’re not going to find a consistency among the Tea Party there. “I think a lot of people feel that the military and defense is a higher priority than others.”

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