Dick Armey Decries GOP Immigration 'Jerks'

Former Rep. Dick Armey (R-Texas), the chief author of Republicans’ 1994 “Contract with America” and current chairman of FreedomWorks, was a stalwart of the Right during his time as majority leader of the House, but recently he has expressed dissatisfaction with the current crop of right-wing leadership. Disgusted with the “demagoguery” surrounding issues like Terri Schiavo and prayer in schools, he recently commented that “[Focus on the Family head James] Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies” and “being a Christian is no excuse for being stupid.”

Now, Armey is expressing his impatience with House Republicans over immigration. He says he’s “disappointed” with the lack of “deep thought” from Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), the primary sponsor of the enforcement-only bill that passed in the House. And had harsh words for Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado), a leading spokesman for the modern anti-immigration movement who thrives in the political margins. From McClatchy News Service:

[T]he former House majority leader is now savaging conservatives in his own party for what he calls ''knee-jerk'' opposition -- ''emphasis on jerk'' -- to the Bush administration's efforts to create a temporary guest-worker program and overhaul the nation's immigration system. …

“This has been rallied up by a lot of people that are very visible, make a lot of noise and have never been guilty of any deep thinking,'' Armey said during an appearance on Tuesday.

Unabashedly naming names, Armey described Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., as the ``cheerleader of jerkiness in the immigration debate.''