Two large buses pull into Nebraska as the Tea Party Express endorses Republican Jon Bruning’s Senate campaign in an energetic, yet sparsely attended rally on the steps of the Capitol.
Tea Party Express Political Action Committee Chairman Howard Kaloogian says Bruning has the quality and stances the committee looks for in a candidate.
“He impresses us across the board with his time in office and we believe he will continue to honor his oath of office,” Kaloogian says, adding that the Tea Party Express expects politicians to obey the restraints contained in the Constitution.
Kaloogian chalked up the low turn-out to a lack of publicity.
“We’ve had bigger turn-outs, there’s no doubt about that,” Kaloogian tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We didn’t spend any money promoting this and that’s probably our fault for not marketing it.”
The Tea Party Express brings both speakers and performers to the rallies in two large buses. Rallies feature a stream of Obama Administration bashing mixed with a call to return to what it considers a more faithful obedience to the Constitution. The Express endorses less spending and a smaller federal government.
Though most Tea Party branches shy from endorsing candidates, the Tea Party Express is a political action committee, created to endorse candidates. Kaloogian claims every Republican the Express endorsed in the last election cycle won the primary.
Bruning shies from directly answering whether he completely endorses all of the stances of the Tea Party Express. He says he endorses its call for smaller government.
“So, I think what the Tea Party means is finally we’re having a conversation about the right thing,” Bruning says. “How are we going to reduce government, so it gets out of American’s lives (and) we let business grow and do its thing?”
Among those attending the rally at the Capitol, Nebraska Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Lorenz downplays the Tea Party Express endorsement.
“That means he got the endorsement of an out-of-state group that doesn’t represent Nebraskans,” according to Lorenz.
The Tea Party Express has moved on to Iowa after rallies in Lincoln and Omaha. It is traveling to various cities on its way to Tampa, Florida on September 12th when it will partner with CNN to host a Republican presidential candidate debate.