Judy Woodruff On CNN / Tea Party Express’ GOP Debate: Tea Party Is ‘Here To Stay’

PBS NewsHour gathered together political editor David Chalian and senior correspondents Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff to offer up a little sneak peek of what’s to come in tonight’s CNN / Tea Party Express GOP Debatapalooza.

First off: How will the Republicans candidates respond to President Barack Obama‘s jobs plan? Ifill made the point that Obama has carefully set up the rhetoric concerning his jobs plan in such a way that anyone who would oppose it would in essence be seen as opposing helping the unemployed and that “anyone who disagrees with him is only playing politics.” Chalian then wondered whether Obama himself is not playing politics right now, despite setting it up as an “unseemly” course of action.

Talk eventually turned to the debate in Tampa. What did they make of the fact that the Tea Party Express is co-sponsoring the event along with CNN? For Woodruff, the collaboration means that “the Tea Party is here to stay, at least in the near term of our American politics.” Ifill echoed Woodruff’s assessment that the candidates would be, essentially, facing scrutiny from members of the Tea Party movement, and ventured that Tim Pawlenty‘s recent endorsement of Mitt Romney so soon after calling his plan “Obamaneycare” is a strategic move to “close ranks” against the likes of Rick Perry.

Check out their discussion below, courtesy of the Rundown blog:

h/t Rundown

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