GOP's Tea Party Headache

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson talks about the Tea Party's impact on Texas politics.

By Richard Ray

AUSTIN - Thousands spent at least part of their 4th of July at Tea Party events around the country.   Events over the weekend have convinced some that the grass roots anti-tax movement is growing -- and taking a nasty turn Republican party leaders did not anticipate.

At the Austin Tea Party on Saturday Republican Senator John Cornyn was loudly booed, apparently over his support of bank bailout money passed while President Bush was still in office.

SMU Political Scientist Cal Jilson believes the Tea Party movement is gaining momentum and will, increasingly pose a problem for the Republican Party.  

"(Cornyn) is on the conservative wing of the Repulican Party in the United States Senate," said Jilson.  "And, to come home and get booed by the Tea Party people means (that movement) is way over on the right fringe of the Republican Party.  It's fiscal Conservatives and Libertarians.  You've got to have 50 plus (voting percentage) to win.  So, if you play to those folks you are losing a lot (of votes) in the middle."

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