After getting laughed at by Monica Crowley for making a foolish comment about the disparate ways Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan handled Libya during their respective presidencies, Newsweek's Eleanor Clift doubled down on this weekend's "McLaughlin Group" by saying a Tea Party candidate can't win a national election.
Crowley was once again up to the challenge and correctly pointed out, "If the government keeps spending like this, that Tea Party movement is only going to accelerate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: If you elect a candidate, if you nominate a candidate that the Tea Party loves, that is someone that cannot win a national election in this country.
MONICA CROWLEY, WASHINGTON TIMES: Well, I would not say that.
CLIFT: Excuse me, Tea Party can win...
CROWLEY: That's wrong.
CLIFT: ...certain districts and certain states, but they cannot win a national election, and…
CROWLEY: Well, what we saw in November was a national…
CLIFT: …the Democrats actually have a chance of taking back the House because they need to recapture 25 seats…
CROWLEY: Forget it.
CLIFT: …and there are at least 25 Tea Party freshmen who are not representing well in their districts.
CROWLEY: Not happening, not happening. If the government keeps spending like this, that Tea Party movement is only going to accelerate. And all of the top tier Republican candidates, whether it’s Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, they’re all facing enormous pressure from the Tea Party, and they’re going to have to change their positions and modify them to accommodate the Tea Party on spending and the size of government.
Folks like Clift and their ilk are either totally deluded about the power of the Tea Party or are trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy by continuing to downplay its significance.
Whichever it is, they do so at their own peril for this movement continues to grow and will likely have an even larger impact on the next elections than it did the previous ones.