Dick Armey: GOP should vote on ‘fiscal cliff’; tea party candidates ‘did dumb things’

Rachel Rose Hartman

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who recently resigned as head of the tea party group FreedomWorks, suggested House Speaker John Boehner should put the Republican plan to avoid a "fiscal cliff" to a vote already.

"Take the vote," Armey said Monday in an interview with "CBS This Morning." "If the president has his overwhelming mandate from the American people, the 435 members of Congress will recognize that mandate in their districts, and he'll win the vote. If he wins the vote, then he owns the results, and he can take them to the Senate, which is controlled by his party, sign it into law and live with the consequences."

Boehner is the lead Republican on talks between Republicans and the White House on negotiating a deal to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect Jan. 1. Armey defended Boehner's position Monday saying he has the "toughest job" in town.

"He's got a seriously divided majority in the House, he's got a dysfunctional Senate [and] it's questionable whether they can do anything over there," Armey continued, "and they've got a president who says basically, You give me what I want. Once you agree to that, I'll talk to you."

Armey recently cut ties with the tea party group FreedomWorks, citing displeasure with tea party losses. On Monday he took the opportunity to bash some of the party's candidates, saying, "We had a lot of candidates quite frankly that did dumb things out there."

But Armey blamed the Republican Party, not the movement, for failing to "school" these candidates on avoiding controversial subjects.