Despite radical views expressed by leaders of the Tea Party Express, Idaho Congressman Walt Minnick accepted their endorsement. Now that Tea Party Express is active in supporting Arizona's new anti-immigration legislation will Minnick continue to accept their support?
"I'm pleased to have their endorsement."
That's what Congressman Minnick said last month upon learning that he had been named a Tea Party Hero and endorsed by the Tea Party Express. "They're just ordinary folks who think the government ought to balance its budget. There's nothing very radical about that," included Minnick. Campaign spokesman John Foster acknowledged that there were some fringe within the group but implied that those weren't the views of the group as a whole.
Seven months earlier this was Tea Party Express Chairman Mark Williams on CNN with Anderson Cooper:
Partial transcript via Crooks and Liars:
COOPER: But I mean, Mark, what you're saying makes sense to me here when I'm hearing what you're saying. But then I read on your blog, you say -- you call the president an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief.
COOPER: Is that the kind of...
WILLIAMS: That's the way he's behaving.
COOPER: But I mean...
WILLIAMS: I mean, if he cares to be...
COOPER: Do you believe he's Indonesian? Do you believe he's a Muslim? Do you really believe he's a welfare thug?
WILLIAMS: He's certainly acting like it.
Calling the President "an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief" would seem radical to most ordinary folks, but that's not just some "fringe" element within the group; that's the chairman of the Tea Party Express--the group whose endorsement Congressman Minnick is "pleased" to accept.
Now we learn that the Tea Party Express is actively circulating a petition in support of Arizona's onerous anti-immigration law, with its potential for civil rights violations considered problematic by a wide array of groups from the Southern Poverty Law Center to the Christian Science Monitor.
Is Walt Minnick still "pleased" to have the endorsement of the Tea Party Express and what would it take for the Congressman to denounce this group?