Beltway Confidential

Mike Lee plans to flex Tea Party muscle in 2014 elections

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Tea Party,2014 Elections,Ted Cruz,Mike Lee,Peter King

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, plans to follow up the success he found supporting insurgent candidates like Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2012 election cycle by identifying candidates who share his philosophy in the 2014 cycle -- even as some Republicans attempt to marginalize the Tea Party brand.

"I got behind Ted Cruz early in the 2012 election cycle, and there are several others who I got behind in the 2012 election cycle, and I anticipate that I'll get behind some in the 2014 election cycle as well," Lee told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.

Lee also responded to comments from Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who called for fellow Republicans to "go after" Cruz and the House members who attempted to use the continuing resolution to fund government as an opportunity to defund Obamacare, a fight that only ended after an extended government shutdown.

"I welcome the debate on questions of policy and on questions of strategy and tactics, but ultimately what we need here is really more debate and not less," Lee said.

"And I also think it would be better for the party if people inside the party — especially elected officials within the party — would cease and desist from the personal attacks," he said.

Lee said he has not yet made any endorsement decisions.

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