Government Reform

Give Us Liberty? Q&A with Dick Armey & Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is the latest victim of the Tea Party insurgency that's trying to take over the Republican Party. Tea Party favorite Joe Miller defeated Murkowski in The North Star State's primary by hammering away at (among other things) her support for TARP and lack of zeal for overturning Obamacare.

Miller joins a new breed of anti-spending candidates such as Maine's Paul LePage, Kentucky's Rand Paul, Florida's Marco Rubio, and South Carolina's Nikki Haley, who promise to bring a new passion for shrinking government to D.C. and state capitals.

Here's how Freedom Works' Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe sum up what the Tea Party stands for in their new book, Give us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto: "It doesn't take a lot of words to say that we just want to be free. Free to lead our lives as we please, so long as we don't infringe on the same freedom of others."

Armey and Kibbe say that the Tea Party coheres around spending and that other issues are not central to its mission. Perhaps. Joe Miller is also pro-life, pro border fence, and wants to outlaw the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research. Maine gubernatorial hopeful LePage believes the "traditional definition of marriage should be preserved." Haley, who will probably be South Carolina's next governor, has campaigned on tough enforcement against illegal immigrants. And the closest thing to a Tea Party spokesperson is Sarah Palin, the former "Bridge to Nowhere" supporter who oversaw a 16 percent increase in spending during her time as governor of Alaska.

Can this coalition stay together, stick to its anti-spending message, and actually change American politics? Or will it be co-opted by the very party upon which it seeks to perform a "hostile takeover?"

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie sat down with Armey and Kibbe to discuss these issues and more.

The interview was shot by Jim Epstein and Meredith Bragg, and edited by Epstein and Joshua Swain.

Approximately 9.30 minutes

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