Rep. Michele Bachmann’s bid to become the fourth most powerful Republican in the U.S. House has been hitting snags as establishment Republicans continue to line up behind her opponent, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling. While Bachmann picked up the support of fellow Minnesotan Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen and Rep.-elect Chip Cravaack, well-known conservatives are defending their decision not to back Bachmann.
Bachmann’s tea party friend, Sarah Palin, declined to throw her support behind Bachmann’s campaign for Republican Conference Chair in an email to the Daily Caller.
In terms of the leadership fight between Bachmann and Hensarling, Palin said she was not taking a position — not yet, at least.
“I’m taking a position on who gets to sit in the big boy highchair this morning for breakfast… Trig or Tripp?” Palin said, referring to her son and grandson, respectively.
“Leadership in the US Congress this morning? Nah … not ’till after the Cheerios,” Palin said.
Virginia Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, who currently holds the number two position in Republican leadership as House Whip, said he is firmly behind Hensarling when questioned on Fox News on Sunday.
Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn has also sided with Hensarling over Bachmann as has Alabama’s Rep. Spencer Bachus.
The Hill spoke with insiders this weekend who say GOP leadership is getting annoyed with Bachmann’s ownership of the tea party mantle.
“Members are getting resentful of Bachmann, who they say is making the argument that you’re not really a Tea Party supporter, unless you support her. That’s gone through the formation of the Tea Party Caucus and the formation of this candidacy of hers. It’s just not so,” a GOP aide told The Hill.
In addition, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is backing Hensarling. Ryan is in line to become chair of the House Committee on the Budget. In an letter to fellow Republicans obtained by Politico, Ryan touted Hensarling’s “strong ability to communicate.”
“Jeb’s economic expertise and strong ability to communicate are what we need in our conference chairman to articulate our unified commitment to get our country back on track,” Ryan wrote. “This position requires someone who has a command of these issues and has a history of successfully debating them.”
Bachmann sent a letter to colleagues touting her ability to communicate with local and national media.
She said she has “strong principled conservative values, a proven level of experience, effectiveness with our friends in the local and national media, and an energetic national constituency that reflects the results of Tuesday night.”
She’s had Fox’s Glenn Beck cheerleading her campaign for the past week and has begged his viewers to contact their House members to vote for Bachmann.
Meanwhile, Bachmann has picked up the support of Minnesota Republicans. Rep. Erik Paulsen told MinnPost on Friday that he will vote for Bachmann, and earlier in the week Rep. John Kline backed he campaign and recently elected Chip Cravaack threw his support behind Bachmann.