At The Hill's Blog Briefing Room, Elise Viebeck reports that Sen. Orrin Hatch — who may be trying to get on the Tea Party's good side — praised the first woman to be his party's vice presidential candidate Wednesday, saying that as a result of her many endorsements, the GOP is "coming through" despite its internal battles.
"There's a lot of antagonism right now between both [Senate] Democrats and Republicans," he said in an interview on the Fox Business Network. "And sometimes between Democrats and Democrats, and occasionally we have a little fight in the Republican party as well."Six of Gov. Palin's candidates have won and two have lost in Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate this year, and only 11 of her endorsees have lost in 32 completed races.
"But Sarah Palin has helped us all. She's endorsed a lot of people and we're coming through," he continued, prompting host Don Imus to raise an eyebrow.
The victories of Palin-backed Senate candidates like Joe Miller (R-Alaska) and Christine O'Donnell (R-Del.) in GOP primaries have contributed to a growing feud in the Republican party between its establishment players and those, like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who support Tea Party outsiders.
Hatch himself maybe be vulnerable to a challenge from the right because of his vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and his support for the construction of a controversial mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan.