Charlie Rangel appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews this morning and he seemed to think that Republicans will have a hard time fending off some of their more radical Tea Party members.
The first test, he noted, would come next spring when Congress must decide whether or not to lift the debt ceiling. If an increase in the current debt limit of $14.3 trillion does not pass, it would suggest the country may not meet its obligations and could shake the world financial system and could lead to a government shutdown. The matter is usually routine, but Tea Partiers have vowed to limit government spending.
“If they don’t do it the whole government collapses, and what they would be doing is saying that government should borrow more than 14 trillion dollars. So that will be the first big test,” Rangel said.
“I want to see how they are going to sell that.”
Rangel also intimated that it is not Democrats who should fear the rise of the Tea Party, but his Republican colleagues, who could find themselves pushed places they don’t want to go.
“We have so many moderate Republicans that are scared to death of the Tea Party pushing them right over the cliff,” he said. “The Tea Baggers set the standard…the best Republicans are going to be which ones are following the Tea Baggers and that’s a rough road to do.”
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