Jim Bunning: Tea Party Darling

| Tue Mar. 2, 2010 2:30 PM EST

If you ever wondered what type of candidate the Tea Party movement would like to see elected to Congress, look no farther than Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning (R), the man who is single-handedly holding up unemployment benefit extensions and health insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans. While the rest of his party is quietly trying to ignore him, Bunning is giving Tea Party activists in Kentucky much to love.

"We're all in support of Sen. Bunning," says Wendy Caswell, the founder of the Louisville Tea Party. She says Tea Party activists believe that Bunning is being fiscally responsible, and that's a core Tea Party value. "He is kind of one of our models of a good representative of the people of Kentucky."

Tea Party activists aren't the only ones coming out to support Bunning's obstructionism. The Louisville Tea Party website today posted several endorsements from other state Republican leaders, including both candidates running to replace Bunning, Rand Paul and Trey Grayson. Paul, who is one of the Tea Party activists' favorite candidates, is also staging a rally in front of Bunning's office this afternoon to show support for the senator's position. Paul said in a statement, “Jim Bunning is being unfairly attacked for saying we should spend money already set aside for benefits rather than borrowing more. He deserves our support and he is going to get it.”