Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) “didn’t receive the most enthusiastic of welcomes from the Tea Party Tuesday, but there were no real fireworks between the Utah senator and a packed crowd of activists at a town hall forum in Washington,” The Hill reports.
Hatch was the first lawmaker to arrive Tuesday at a forum hosted by the Tea Party Express and he heaped praise on the movement that may end up backing a primary challenge to him next year.
"I think it’s time to take back America, and the Tea Party is part of that," Hatch said, adding that he has "a lot of respect for the Tea Party Express."
Hatch told the crowd that he’s been meeting with Tea Party activists back in his home state, calling it "a wonderful experience."
"We’ve run this country into the ground," Hatch told the crowd, highlighting his support for a Constitutional balanced budget amendment and the fight against the healthcare law.
Two members “of the Senate Tea Party Caucus were also in attendance — Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).”
POLITICO has a quote from Hatch on the balanced budget amendment:
"We’ve got to get armed and get out there and work very closely together to get that balanced budget amendment passed," he said. "Because if we don’t, we’re not going to get spending under control because it’s too easy to go around the current system," the 34-year Senate veteran said.