Who is Mike Lee? What You Need to Know About Who Is Giving the Tea Party Rebuttal
This marks the fourth year the Tea Party offers its own State of the Union rebuttal, and compared to the last few years (Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) in 2011, Herman Cain in 2012 and last year by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in 2013), Mike Lee seems like a more mainstream choice. Elected to office in the 2010 midterms, Mike Lee is the junior Senator from Utah and a popular figure amongst the far right wing of the GOP, which is why he's been chosen to give the Tea Party's State of the Union rebuttal this year.
A strong supporter of conservative policies, Lee has a 100% score from the economic and tax-focused conservative political organization Club for Growth, 100% from the conservative lobbying organization American Conservative Union and a 99% score from the conservative think thank Heritage Foundation. He was also a key politician in 2013's sequester as a major player right alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — a seen in the YouTube clip above.
As the New Republic points out, Lee's fast rise has been mainly due to "the party's power vacuum, his extreme conservatism and his earnest affect," however it's yet to be seen how effective he will be at actual policy making. Tonight will be an opportunity for Lee to demonstrate if he will offer his own ideas, or just continue playing the Tea Party part.