“[T]he powers of government must be restrained. They’ve got to be restrained in terms of what they do in administering government programs, they need to be restrained as far as how much money they take from the American people, and they need to be restrained in terms of how much they interfere with the liberty of individual Americans.” — Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)
Back in 2010, conservatives trained their focus on Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), who had positioned himself over the years as a big government Republican. Bennett had backed billions in corporate welfare for private companies, including the TARP bailout, and supported a healthcare proposal that was considered by some to be worse than ObamaCare.
Bennett was unable to gain enough support during the 2010 Utah GOP convention to win the nomination, setting the stage for a primary between Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee.
Lee would go on to edge out his primary opponent thanks to his strong constitutional and fiscally conservative message and support from grassroots organizations, and he easily defeated his Democratic opponent in the historic 2010 mid-term election.