After Five Years, Tea Party Still Itching To Tangle With Its Own

One of the groups that have drawn the ire of establishment Republicans for backing tea party challengers to incumbent republicans is the Madison Project, which endorsed Bevin, Wolf, and several other Republicans who in recent weeks have struggled on the campaign trail.

Daniel Horowitz, the group’s political director, said that the hallmark of a tea party candidate is actually that they aren’t polished politicians with whitewashed backgrounds. But he acknowledged that despite efforts to better support candidates this year, the movement is clearly still falling short.

"It clearly is necessary," said Horowitz of the need for tea party candidates to compete with opposition research.

He suggested, however, that the missteps haven’t been disqualifying.

"When you’re running against the establishment, you are never going to find any candidate that does not have something that can either be taking out of context, exploited, or something that can be completely used against him," he said. "That’s just a reality."

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