The tea party-friendly group FreedomWorks PAC will target incumbent Sen. Orrin Hatch
, R-Utah, at the Republican Convention in Utah on Saturday with its “Retire Orrin Hatch” campaign, reports DailyCaller.com
. The group says Hatch is the first of many moderate candidates it will be going after during the 2012 general and presidential campaigns.
“The bottom line is Hatch doesn’t represent the state of Utah,” FreedomWorks organizer Russ Walker told the Caller. “The state of Utah is far more fiscally conservative than Orrin Hatch is. It’s an opportunity to pick up a seat, it’s an opportunity to find somebody who is better.”
Among the group’s concerns about Hatch, noted the Caller, are his voting 16 times to raise the debt ceiling and his support of the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
The organization, headed by former Republican House leader Dick Armey, aims to replicate its success in 2010, when it claimed to have had a hand in defeating former Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.
Hatch seems to be cognizant of the criticism from conservative groups, and went so far as to hang out with FreedomWorks staffers at their Washington, D.C., office party.
“He has reached out to us a lot this year. Orrin Hatch is a nice guy,” Walker said. “But at the end of the day, I think the state of Utah could do better.”
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