Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski says his party is risking creating a “tea party” faction as it drifts leftward and fails to support a “big tent” of contrasting ideas.
Lipinski is a social conservative who opposes abortion, and he’s facing a serious primary challenge from the left via political newcomer Marie Newman. She has the backing of abortion rights advocacy groups, as well as Lipinski’s colleagues U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston and Luis Gutierrez of Chicago.
“Right now there is a battle for what the Democratic Party is going to be, going forward,” Lipinski, who has represented the Southwest Side and suburban 3rd Congressional District for seven terms, said Sunday on WGN-AM 720.
“Four years ago we were at our lowest point in (Democratic seats in) the U.S. House since Herbert Hoover was president. We’ve come up slightly since then, but we’re still in a big hole, and there are those who want to have a ‘tea party of the left’ in the Democratic Party to match, unfortunately, what’s happened to the Republicans,” he said.