Former tea party leader blames GOP for setbacks

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The former leader of a tea party group says the Republican Party and stupid statements by some candidates are to blame for the GOP's losses in last month's congressional elections.

Dick Armey, who until recently led the conservative group FreedomWorks, said some GOP candidates said "stupid things" that party leaders should have taught them to avoid saying. He said Republicans had a lot of candidates who did "dumb things" during their campaigns.

Armey, a former Republican House majority leader from Texas, did not specifically mention controversial comments about rape by GOP Senate candidates in Indiana and Missouri that contributed to their defeats in November.

Armey said it is the party's job to support and train candidates.

Armey left FreedomWorks after an internal dispute about the group's direction.

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