“Hi, I’m Senator Lamar Alexander, and I really don’t want a Tea Party challenger in my primary in 2014.”
His fellow GOP senator from Tennessee, Bob Corker, managed to avoid a Tea Party challenger in this just-completed cycle.
Alexander said the early announcement “is designed to make sure that dust doesn’t get kicked up for the next election. I’ve run enough to know that you don’t take any election for granted.” He said it sends a signal that a potential challenger “is going to have a fight on their hands . . . I’m running, running hard. I have the support of significant leaders in the party.” . . .
Alexander also indicated — as Corker did last week — that he’s willing to consider tax increases to help pay down the nation’s debt if it’s mixed with substantial spending cuts. “Almost every Republican in Washington whose in a leadership position has told the President, ‘Mr. President, if you will restrain entitlements, if you’ll get this runaway spending under control that’s bankrupting the country, we’ll hold our nose and raise some revenues and use them to help reduce the debt.’”
Corker won re-election last month with 65 percent of the vote, at the same time Tennessee favored Republican Mitt Romney 59 percent to 39 percent over President Obama.
Corker had a primary, but none of his four rivals had any name recognition, and none of the grassroots conservative groups that supported challengers to Dick Lugar and Orrin Hatch got involved in the Tennessee primary.
Alexander has a lifetime ACU rating of 78.67.