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September 21st, 2010
09:30 AM ET

Inglis on losing to Tea Party, where GOP went wrong

(CNN) – Christine O'Donnell’s surprise win in Delaware is sending shock waves through the GOP. O’Donnell is just one of several Tea Party success stories, which some say is threatening the existence of the moderate republican. Republican Congressman Bob Inglis, who lost his primary in June to a Tea Party candidate, is now speaking out against the Republican Party. Inglis spoke to John Roberts on Tuesday's American Morning about where things may have gone wrong for himself and the rest of the GOP.

Bob Inglis: I don't think we build our party by distraction and we don't serve our country by division. The key here to pull together as Americans and to build on truth, especially to build a conservative movement, a credible conservative movement, build it on truth.

The truth is that the president is not a Muslim. He's – he was born in America. And he is not a socialist. He is left of center, I’m right of center. And, in fact, he might say very right of center. But that's okay. We can have a debate about real facts. We don't need to [be]making up things because as time goes on, that gets embarrassing when you're found out to have built something on false information and on scapegoats rather than solutions. The customer turns away and says you've got nothing for me because you're not delivering a solution.

John Roberts: Congressman, during your election campaign or the primary campaign, rather, you resisted saying some of the more charged things about the president that your opponent was. Do you think that hurt you?

Bob Inglis: Oh, yeah. People wanted me to say – calling me a socialist every other day. But the ninth commandment should constrain us. Don't bear false witness against your neighbor. That's something that we are socialist conservatives should be evidencing in our campaigns. We don't go around saying those things because it's not true. It's also not true that he's a Muslim. It's not true that he wants to take over as a dictator. These things – we need to get rid of these things so we can build on credible, solid information. We do that, we can build a credible, conservative movement in this country that shows that free enterprise and family are the solutions we're looking for.

John Roberts: Congressman, what are your thoughts on Christine O’Donnell who is a conservative? She's the republican nominee in Delaware. Some establishment conservatives like Karl Rove are saying she says a lot of nutty things, she has a checkered past an she's not a candidate that's going to win for us.

Bob Inglis: Well, I’m concerned because, you know, the things that I read, I don't know her personally. I hope it works out, and that some of these things that are reported don't turn out to be correct. But I think it's, again, very important that we be credible. And have candidates that don't – don't run in front of the flame throwers. That's a reference earlier we've got these hot microphones that want to charge up the fearful crowd and have them run toward the cliff. And if we get leaders saying you don't know the half of it ...

John Roberts: Now, candidates like Christine O’Donnell hold the position that the Republican Party over the last decade has gotten way off track. And they're just trying to put it back on track.

Bob Inglis: Yeah. Well, I think that we surely did get off track in the years that we had the majority. And we didn't balance the budget. That's for sure. That's correct. But here's the thing, there's a structural deficit. It's Medicare, Medicaid, social security. At 60 percent of what we spend now rising to 90 percent in 2050, that's a structural challenge.

That's where America needs a solution. We don't need scapegoats, don't need to blame that on the president. It's not his fault. In fact, he's just been president for two years. This thing's been decades in coming. I've got enemies, Al Qaeda, Taliban, they're not the democrats, they're my country men. They're often wrong, but we can have a debate about how to get that done. We happen to believe as conservatives it's free enterprise that's going to fix that and reliance on family.

Filed under: Politics • Tea Party
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. triker44

    Inglis is partially right! The Republican Party has definately gotten off track in recent years however, both parties have ceased listening to We The People! Elections have become a battle to retain power and prestige! Not to make honest efforts to do as the people want.
    That is exactly why the Tea Party movement has gained so much steam in recent months! The ordinary man or woman on the street, the real citizens of America are simply tired of being ignored and are showing their frustration with the establishment of BOTH parties.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  2. Pauly

    Poor Richard & all the other birthers out there. Somehow they deny a "certificate of live birth" is any different than a "certificate of birth." They are both "birth certificates"!!! All Presidential candidates go through a background check by our best intelligence agencies. Do you really think if the President wasn't a natural born citizen that it wouldn't have been disclosed by the Clinton and/or McCain campaigns?

    Somehow they also want us to believe the Tea Party movement is grass roots. Grass roots movements aren't started by media outlets & financed by the Koch brothers & Dick Armey.

    Tea Party signs saying keep the govt out of my Medicare raised some eyebrows. Now the TP has elected extremists that want to privatize or do away w/ Social Security & Medicare!!! They claim to be Constitutionalists but then support those who want to repeal parts of the Constiitution!

    If Richard truly wants to call a spade a spade, he would call those in the TP a bunch of mixed up people who can't accept the fact that we have a black President! In fact, 2 of their catch phrases, we want our country back & America is for Americans were also used by the Klan decades ago. Don't believe me, watch the History Channel! Of course since the GOP & their supporters are always trying to rewrite history, they aren't too interested in learning the facts.

    September 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  3. cc

    Somehow Duffy is stuck on; old –already been there proved that news...the Presidents birth certificate has been produced. Get over it, find something real to blame him for. Just like Rep Inglis said Obama just got into office 2 years ago we can't blame him for the mess the country is in, and there is no way to fix the mess overnight.

    There is nothing wrong with a grass roots movement if it didn't burn crosses in the grass...some of the hate coming out of the tea party has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with ignorance.

    If we stood together as Americans, crossed party lines as intelligent individuals we would collectively fix some of the problems, let the blame go for past administrations and support current...we might make a difference, but human nature seems to keep that finger pointing at the other guy, just remember when you do that there are four pointing back at you!!

    September 21, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  4. Chatty Kathy

    The Tea Party is all about packaging. How else can you explain Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell? They're hawking "Freedom Flakes" and nobody seems to care that the box is empty.

    September 21, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  5. Judith Rich

    I love hearing Bob Inglis speak the rational truth about Obama.
    What happened to our economy is not Obama's fault, and our country would benefit from hearing more of Bob Inglis and his Sanity !
    As opposed to Newt Gingrich's INSANITY and hate-talk !
    It was good to hear a sane Republican speak with respect for Obama,
    and not speak with their nasty hate-talk about our president !
    Thank you Bob Inglis ! I hope you do more to help the USA.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  6. Juilie

    Sounds like Bob Inglis is highly intelligent man. A great loss for the Republican party. He won't win a beauty contest like his opponent, but, that is hardly the agenda of government. Those Delaware people had a really bad day picking O'Donnell.

    September 21, 2010 at 10:11 am |

    I am afraid Bob is one more person who does not understand the Tea Party movement. I see the movement as grass roots Americans standing up in a revolutionary manner, to say enough is enough!! We do not like the socialist direction the President is leading our nation and by the way, where is his birth certificate? It has never been produced.
    We should no longer be politically correct but call a spade a spade, see people for who they are and hold them accountable for the decisions they make. Sounds pretty fair to me!

    September 21, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  8. Irene

    I agree with much of what Rep. Bob Inglis has said in this interview with John Roberts...and I am a Democrat.

    We all have to remember that no matter what political party we are associated with, we are all Americans......not each other's enemy. The flame throwers and the lies have to stop! The politics have to take a backseat to what is BEST FOR OUR COUNTRY. If we as Americans don't do this....there's no one else that will!

    September 21, 2010 at 10:00 am |