Reports Talking Points Memo:
Liljenquist has never fully embraced the tea party — he told the Washington Post more than a year ago that the “froth and bubble” of the movement would die down long before concern over the economy goes away. Liljenquist’s campaign plans to focus on the economy and stress extreme fiscal conservatism. He wants entitlement reform, a “cut, cap and balance” approach and backs a balanced budget amendment, among other reforms. But that doesn’t distinguish Liljenquist much — Hatch has also embraced both the BBA and “cut, cap, and balance” during the debt-limit debate in summer 2011 and his campaign website calls for “responsible” entitlement reforms.
“He’s not an extremist, he’s a realist,” Richardson said of Liljenquist. “The so-called more moderate or more mainstream wing of the Republican Party has come to Dan and said, ‘My gosh, you’re not crazy.”
The tea party “adopted” Liljenquist, said LaVarr Webb, a Republican strategist and founder of The Exoro Group in Salt Lake City, but he thinks Liljenquist is “practical.”
(See also related Huffington Post story.)