Tea party groups in Missouri, irate over Rep. Michele Bachmann’s endorsement of Rep. Roy Blunt before tomorrow’s Republican Senate primary, were planning a “major protest’ against Blunt’s campaign events over the weekend. Democrats and Blunt’s main Republican primary opponent, Chuck Purgason, pushed for the protest as evidence Blunt was headed for trouble this fall in a general election matchup against Robin Carnahan (D).
But it didn’t quite turn out that way.
As you can see from this video put out by Purgason (who is far behind Blunt in the primary), only a handful of tea partiers showed up to protest. Their main beef with Bachmann is that, as the founder of the official Tea Party Caucus in Congress, she isn’t adhering to the principles they all hold dear given Blunt’s record. During the protest, the tea partiers were highly critical of Blunt for supporting the TARP bailout measure in fall 2008, but were not the show of force they’d promised.
The weak turnout could have something to do with Bachmann’s hospitalization, which forced her to cancel the in-person visit to Blunt’s campaign headquarters in St. Louis.
A Bachmann spokesman told the Star Tribune that she was admitted to a Washington-area hospital on Friday, forcing her to miss several votes and skip the Blunt event. The spokesman did not reveal the nature of Bachmann’s illness.
She joined Blunt via Web cam on Saturday, telling volunteers and supporters in his office that she and other conservatives “need Roy Blunt in the U.S. Senate.” Bachmann (R-MN) also mocked President Obama’s recent visit to the Show Me State for Carnahan, saying she’d like him to “make about 15 more trips to Missouri” before the fall election.
The left-leaning Fired Up Missouri blog caught some local news coverage of the protest and Bachmann comments.