Tea Party State Reps Vent About Guinta
FACEBOOK – U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta scored a narrow primary win a year ago in part by consolidating Tea Party activists behind his candidacy. Now some of those activists are expressing disappointment in Guinta as the congressman navigates the path between campaign idealism and the practical realities of governing.
State Rep. Andrew Manuse of Derry, who was an active Guinta supporter in the campaign, posted the following on Facebook Wednesday: “I would like to apologize for urging support for Congressman Frank Guinta in the last election. Unfortunately, Guinta was good at giving lip service to what we all wanted to hear, but he has proven himself to be a typical Washington insider with his vote for the Patriot Act and now his vote to raise the debt ceiling. I will not be able to support him again. I do hope he has a primary opponent worth supporting.”
State Rep. Fred Leonard of Rochester, who is frequently at odds with many Republicans, chimes in: “Guinta is a joke and I never supported him…I only hope he is primaried…” The exchange prompted State Rep. Laura Jones of Rochester to post on her own page, “I too am sorry I supported Frank Guinta.” State Rep. Jenn Coffey of Andover, who does not live in Guinta’s district, adds, “I’m feeling the pain too, sorry to say.”
The comments come days after Tea Party activist Joe Barton of Newmarket offered $1,500 to anyone who would primary State Sen. Sharon Carson of Londonderry.
The discussion reflects a fundamental tension within the Tea Party as activists and elected officials who started as insurgent outsiders become elected officials and insiders, and discover that what once may have appeared black and white now comes in shades of gray.