Appearing on Wednesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC.com Executive Editor Richard Wolffe asserted that Tea Partiers want someone to "be annoying and inflammatory" in responding to President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address as the group discussed the news that Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee will give a Tea Party response to the President.
He also mocked Tea Partiers as "looking for a face, any face that can sound reasonable."
The exchange began as MSNBC host O'Donnell posed:
Richard, I think the Senate would be surprised to learn that Mike Lee has been a leader of any kind in the United States Senate, but the Tea Party is sure happy with him.
Yeah, I guess you get points for showing up. But, you know, I guess Michele Bachmann and her strange camera angles were not available. You know, this is a movement that has fizzled and is looking for a face, any face that can sound reasonable. Or if not reasonable, then at least get some headlines.
And the response here is not the point. What they want to do is be annoying and inflammatory. And I'm sure they'll find someone to do that.
--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on TWitter.