Tea Party Favorite Campaigns for 'Establishment' Nominee to Unseat Begich

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Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan has not only picked up the endorsement of the Tea Party Express, the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee, in his bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), but Tea Party Express has also paid for a statewide radio campaign featuring an ad narrated by former GOP Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Joe Miller.

Whatever hard feelings might have been left from the Sullivan vs. Miller clashes during the Alaska GOP Senate primary campaign have been set aside.

It was a tough primary race between former Attorney General Sullivan, Miller and Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. Miller accused his opponents of being “establishment Republicans” who sided with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and were not nearly as conservative as they should have been.

It was Murkowski who ran a write-in campaign that defeated Miller’s general election bid for the Senate in 2010.

However, that was then; this is now.

Tea Party Express Executive Director Taylor Budowich said it is all about winning the general election Nov. 4.

“President Obama and Senator Harry Reid have been able to count on Mark Begich to cast key votes that advance their liberal agenda. The only thing voters of Alaska have been able to count on is that Begich will sell them out to please Obama and Reid,” said Budowich in a statement released by Tea Party Express. “Alaskans deserve better.”

Begich had no problem telling the Washington Examiner that he did vote for Obama. But Begich said in a new campaign ad, "Works for Alaska," that he has disagreed with Obama on several issues important to Alaska voters.

Begich also said that Obama was no longer relevant because a new president would be sworn into office in January 2017.

Joe Miller doesn’t back away from the attempt to tie Begich to Obama in the Tea Party Express-sponsored radio advertisement.

“I ran in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate because Barack Obama’s assault on America must be stopped,” said Miller. “It is still a priority for me to rid the Senate of Obama’s liberal allies, like Senator Mark Begich, who have brought more taxes, government regulations and intrusion into our daily lives. He seems to have completely lost touch with Alaska.”

Elections, especially winnable elections, heal all wounds. The Tea Party Express was a major supporter of Miller in his upset primary victory in 2010 against Murkowski.

But now, Murkowski and Miller say they have found common ground on the importance of defeating Begich.

And just because the Tea Party Express has endorsed Sullivan and is using Miller to support him doesn’t mean Miller has lost all Tea Party support.

“We have been proud to stand with Joe Miller in the past, and we look forward to standing with him again in the future. Now is the time for Alaskans to join together and ensure that liberal Mark Begich’s tenure in Washington comes to an end,” said Budowich.