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Fitzsimon: Tea Party, GOP to struggle

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A little after 11 a.m. Wednesday, just an hour before the opening session of the General Assembly convened, State Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes stood in the cold, drizzling rain on Halifax Mall behind the Legislative Building to address a group of 20 or so Tea Partiers at a rally organized by the Moccasin Creek Minutemen, a Tea Party group from Zebulon.

The group's website is full of the typical hard right anti-government rhetoric warning of dangers like “stealthy socialism.” It also includes an offensive joke based on the notion that Obama is a Muslim.

Hayes, whose bid for GOP chairman was vigorously opposed by many Tea Party groups who branded him part of the Republican establishment and “unstable on policy matters,” was effusive in his thanks and praise for those in attendance in remarks that were more religious than political. And he claimed that he was an early Tea Partier, whatever that is.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart