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Q&A with 'Tea Party' leaders Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe

At a September 13 Monitor breakfast, FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey and president Matt Kibbe discussed the potential Republican House majority and addressed recent criticism of the tea party's diversity.

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At a Sept. 13 Monitor breakfast, FreedomWorks leaders Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe spoke about the tea party's take on conservatism.

Michael Bonfigli/Special to The Christian Science Monitor

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Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe are chairman and president, respectively, of FreedomWorks, a major player in the "tea party" movement that has shaken up Republican primary races this year. Mr. Armey (r.) and Mr. Kibbe (l.) were guest speakers at the Sept. 13 Monitor breakfast in Washington, D.C. The likely 2010 election outcome:

Armey: "Without much doubt the Republicans will control the House. The big question that remains with our folks is will it be a conservative majority or a Republican majority. And there can be a big difference.... The most interesting turning of events is the movement from 'possible' to 'probable' that the Republicans might control the Senate."

How a conservative majority in the House would change things:

Armey: "They will be more responsive to the ... will of the American people than either of the two parties have been for quite some time. So, controlling spending, reducing it if you can, certainly some way to rationalize health-care legislation by way of [getting] some of the good things like tort reform and interstate purchases in there so that you can effect some real cost savings."

How tea party legislators would affect business interests:

Kibbe: "They [big companies] do have something to be worried about if their primary business model is using the federal government either to punish their competitors or fatten their bottom lines....Tea partyers don't like that kind of thing."

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