Former tea party leader blames GOP for setbacks

December 10, 2012 - 9:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican Party and stupid statements by some candidates are to blame for GOP losses in last month's congressional elections, the former leader of a tea party group said Monday.

Dick Armey, who until recently led the conservative group FreedomWorks, said some GOP candidates said "stupid things" that party leaders should have taught them to avoid saying. He said Republicans had a lot of candidates who did "dumb things" during their campaigns.

Armey, a former Republican House majority leader from Texas, did not specifically mention controversial comments about rape by GOP Senate candidates in Indiana and Missouri that contributed to their defeats in November. Republicans had been hoping to win control of the Senate but ended up losing seats instead, and they lost strength in the House as well.

Armey said it is the party's job to support and train candidates.

He left FreedomWorks after an internal dispute about the group's direction.

Armey made his remarks on "This Morning" on CBS.