Dick Armey came to Northeast Philadelphia last night and spoke to an audience of more than 50 local activists and enthusiasts. In his remarks, Armey asserted that the Tea Party movement’s “moment of conception” — as opposed to its birth with Rick Santelli in Chicago — occurred in 2004 when President George W. Bush opted to support then Republican Arlen Specter against primary challenger Pat Toomey.
Toomey lost that 2004 challenge by less than two percentage points in what became a bitter contest.
“People were asking the same question,” said Armey, “‘Why is the president endorsing the liberal Democrat?’ You know, Specter the Defector. We were six years ahead of the game in knowing Arlen Specter as a Democrat.”
“Why is this president endorsing him instead of [Pat Toomey] the small government conservative that has a reliable record of commitment and hard work toward the purposes of fiscal responsibility, lower taxation, less government regulation, and, probably, by the way, is intellectually smarter and deeper than anyone else in that town? Why isn’t the president embracing Pat Toomey?”
“That’s I think the moment this movement was conceived,” said Armey.
“Then, as we go through time, further transgressions against good financial common sense, fiscal responsibility, responsible respect for the taxpayers, committed first by George W. Bush and the Republicans who were breaking our heart, and then by the guy who promised us change we can believe in.”