A 17-second snippet of 2010 video in which Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein disses the Tea Party as “teabaggers” is being circulated among some conservatives in New Hampshire.
While speaking to business students at the University of New Hampshire, Havenstein says, “We got a lot of problems in this country. The teabaggers or whatever they are, they have been telling us that all summer long, alright? Isn’t that who they are? I am a little out of touch.”
Havenstein was a CEO in private business at the time.
Now that he is a candidate for governor, he has been accused by Democrats of siding with the Tea Party by favoring right-to-work legislation and opposing Medicaid expansion. In April, the state Democratic Party charged by Havenstein, by proposing budget cuts, was “following the example” of Tea Party-affiliated former New Hampshire House speaker Bill O’Brien, who was speaker from 2010 to 2012.
Now, Havenstein faces a product of the Tea Party and liberty movement in the GOP primary for governor, Andrew Hemingway.
Havenstein took heat for the video Friday on the conservative “Granite Grok” website.
“Once again we are shown that the GOP has no idea what they are doing and continues to pick candidates who are the antithesis of ‘Live Free or Die’ New Hampshire,” wrote activist Kimberly Morin.
Hemingway issued a statement:
“Whether one likes the ‘Tea Party’ or doesn’t like the ‘Tea Party,’ everyone should be offended by this. People have referred to me as a Tea Partier and I always say this: If you mean an average citizen worried about the future of our country as it relates to over-taxation, over-regulation and limited liberty who is willing to stand up and work? Then fine. That’s who these people are.
“Moreover, Walt is asking to represent these people that he just showed such complete disrespect to. People say the Republican Party is divided. They actually blame liberty activists and Tea Party Members for that divide. But it is only the Washington establishment-chosen candidate that refers to fellow Republicans in a sexually derogatory manner.
“I call on Walt Havenstein to apologize. I want him to apologize to me and to every single mother, father, and student who for several years have spent precious time working to promote the ideas of liberty and freedom from government intrusion. “
Havvenstein’s campaign on Saturday issued this statement from Havenstein: