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BBC's Kay Suggests Tea Partiers Put Beating Obama Ahead of 'Country's Interest,' Opposing Obama is Alternative to 'Competence'

Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the BBC's Katty Kay suggested that Tea Partiers are willing to go against the "country's interest" rather than to "deal" with President Obama.

Kay: "And if there is going to be a wing of the Republican Party that says, do not on any issue, on any case, even on its merits, compromise with the President, it's gonna be the Tea Party. And if the Tea Party is driving the energy in the Republican Party ... Republicans in Congress are going to have to look very carefully at how they deal with them. And the Tea Party is saying we don't care about whether it's in the country's interest, in our foreign policy interest, in our economic interest necessarily to deal with the President."

A bit later, as she speculated about whether obstruction by the GOP would be rewarded or punished in 2012, she seemed to suggest that "competence" would involve compromising with President Obama as she used the word as the alternative to standing on "principle" and opposing Obama. Kay: "I think this is the biggest point that, I mean, the point that Dan raises about in 2012. Will voters more reward competence and actions that have been seen to be effective for the country? Or will they reward politicians who stood on principle and oppose the White House expansionist agenda, as they see it?"

And during the "Tell Me Something I Don't Know" segment, she also spoke favorably of a proposal to use a soda tax to reduce the federal budget deficit: "In both the bipartisan plans that are out there at the moment, that have come out in the last 10 days to reduce the deficit, one item is the proposition to put a tax on sodas. This makes sense in terms of health of Americans. It also makes sense in terms of reducing the deficit. It would, of course, raise revenue. It will go absolutely nowhere because people think that it's indicative of a nanny state, and they don't want it."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Sunday, November 21, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

KATTY KAY: And if there is going to be a division, and if there is going to be a wing of the Republican Party that says, do not on any issue, on any case, even on its merits, compromise with the President, it's gonna be the Tea Party. And if the Tea Party is driving the energy in the Republican Party, Republicans in Washington, Republicans in Congress are going to have to look very carefully at how they deal with them. And the Tea Party is saying we don't care about whether it's in the country's interest, in our foreign policy interest, in our economic interest necessarily to deal with the President. What we want is to be the party that obstructs Barack Obama. Many of them ran specifically on stopping and on checking Barack Obama, and so that is their priority. And the establishment is going to have to either listen to them or try and find a way to overcome that energy.

...

KAY: But I think this is the biggest point that, I mean, the point that Dan raises about in 2012. Will voters more reward competence and actions that have been seen to be effective for the country? Or will they reward politicians who stood on principle and opposes the White House expansionist agenda, as they see it? I expect it's actually going to be some mixture of the two.

...

KAY: In both the bipartisan plans that are out there at the moment, that have come out in the last 10 days to reduce the deficit, one item is the proposition to put a tax on sodas. This makes sense in terms of health of Americans. It also makes sense in terms of reducing the deficit. It would, of course, raise revenue. It will go absolutely nowhere because people think that it's ,indicative of a nanny state, and they don't want it.

- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center