Jamie Radtke, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia, addressed the first-ever Senate Tea Party Caucus meeting Thursday, calling for reduced government spending and lower taxes.
Radtke, formerly the chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation, joined the likes of Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky., at the caucus meeting.
"Individual Americans, uncertain about their jobs, are wisely trying to reduce their debt and get their own houses back in order," Radtke said. "But, collectively, Washington can't see this simple wisdom."
Radtke is trying to position herself to the right of former Virginia senator and governor George Allen, another Republican hoping to challenge Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., ahead of the Republican primary (still a long, long way off, for those keeping track). She released a statement Monday criticizing Allen for votes on spending measures that added trillions to the country's national debt during his time in the U.S. Senate.
“George Allen must explain his record on deficit and pork barrel spending, as well as gun rights, abortion and his endorsements of Republicans such as Arlen Specter,” she said in the statement.
Allen, for his part, has maintained that he’s always been “anti-establishment,” and cited his solid ratings from gun-rights and right-to-life groups.
"George Allen is like the charter member of the Tea Party," said a person close to Allen, who lost his Senate seat to Webb in 2006. "He has a rapport with that base that now calls themselves the Tea Party."