Dick Armey Wanted FreedomWorks to Endorse Todd Akin after “Legitimate Rape” Comments

More details have arisen regarding the split between Dick Armey and FreedomWorks from this Mother Jones article, reported early this Christmas Eve. The article specifically details a memo that was released by Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, that outlines his take on the dynamics of the split:

When the news broke in early December that former GOP Rep. Dick Armey had abruptly resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, a powerhouse of the conservative movement and an instrumental force within the tea party, Armey maintained that the nasty split was due to differences he had with the top management of FreedomWorks about the group’s operations and future.
[…]
But Matt Kibbe’s memo paints a very different picture of the split.

One of the first actions taken by Dick Armey [after the September meeting] is his attempt to reassess our political priorities. “We have to help my friend Tommy Thompson,” he tells the staff in his first meeting with them. He later tells the staff that he has discussed the Missouri Senate race with “my friend [Senator] Roy Blunt, and he says they really need grassroots cover for Todd Akin.” FreedomWorks PAC had endorsed John Brunner, who barely lost to Akin [in the GOP primary]. We had declined to endorse Akin, even before “legitimate rape” became a late night punch line.

It seems to all be boiling down to Armey saying it’s about a book deal, specifically Hostile Takeover. Kibbe says it’s clearly about the establishment vs. the grassroots, which, ironically, is the entire point of the book.

Here’s Armey’s beef with what Kibbe claims about Akin and Thompson from Mother Jones; specifically, that the former House Majority Leader wanted FreedomWorks to give Todd Akin “grassroots cover.”

Armey takes issue with Kibbe’s claim that he kowtowed to the GOP establishment. “After September 1, I was indeed getting reports from Wisconsin and Missouri that we could win those Senate races and also pull it out in these states for Romney,” Armey remarks, defending his decision to urge FreedomWorks to swing behind Thompson and Akin in the fall (after their primary wins). “The alternative in these states was that liberal Democrats win and so does Obama.”

If Armey is indeed saying that supporting monumentally bad records (Thompson), monumentally dumb comments and beliefs (Akin) to help out a monumentally moderate and poorly run campaign (Romney) ISN’T KOWTOWING; then there’s clearly a huge divide here – helping out your cigar buddies vs. ideologically changing the way the Republican Party works.

 
 


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