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Time's Joe Klein: Tea Party Will Be 'Biggest Losers' Next Year, Dream Act Opponents Will 'Suffer'

Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Time columnist Joe Klein predicted that the Tea Party will be the "biggest losers" next year after he agreed with MSNBC's Howard Fineman that the conservative movement represented the "biggest winners" this year. Klein: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."

A bit earlier, after Fineman accused Nevada Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle of running a "frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics," and alluded to the Republican Party's challenge of winning Hispanic voters in the future, Klein predicted that opponents of the Dream Act would "suffer" as he chimed in: "I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, December 26, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Shouldn't have stayed.

KLEIN: Should not have stayed. I mean, the Democrats do best with their core constituency, the working people of this country. They need someone who reflects working people in the middle of the country to lead them. You know, for reasons, you know, it doesn't make a difference whether it's true or not, but people see Pelosi as sophisticated, San Francisco, out of the mainstream. She was who the Republicans ran against all year, not Barack Obama. And so I think that her staying on was an act of hubris.

...

HOWARD FINEMAN, HUFFINGTON POST: I think Joe's absolutely right, but I would say that the biggest mistake of the year was Sharron Angle, who was running against Harry Reid in Nevada, putting on a frankly racist ad about immigration against Hispanics. What planet is she on? If the Republicans are going to have any chance of being a true majority party, they're going to need a huge percentage of the Hispanic vote. George W. Bush in 2004 got 40 percent of it. She got less than 30 percent of it out there, or way down below. And Harry Reid won that race going away because of what Sharron Angle did. That is the exact huge mistake that all Republicans in the future have to somehow figure out how to come to grips with and avoid if they want to go forward.

KLEIN: It's a disease that that party is suffering from.

FINEMAN: Absolutely.

KLEIN: The people who are opposing the Dream Act, which would enable Latino kids who want to go to college or into the military to have citizenship, those people are going to suffer.

...

MATTHEWS: Howard, you started this. Are you sticking with the all-time winner of the year?

FINEMAN: Well, I mentioned the Clintons personally, but I'm actually going to say the Tea Party because I know some people think it's oversold and there's a lot of counterjournalism saying, 'Oh, it wasn't that big a deal.' It's a huge deal. And they are going to be the driving force in the Congress over the next two years. It's not going to be the liberal Democrats, it's going to be the Tea Party.

...

KLEIN: I'm going to go with the Tea Party, with the caveat that even though they were the biggest winners of this year because they set the debate, they're going to be the biggest losers of next year because they're going to have to vote. And you're going to see another Tea Party movement trying to restrain the- (INDAUDIBLE)

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