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Tea Party Leaders: Be "Mature" When We Primary You

There's no crying in politics.

Posted on July 27, 2012, at 12:06 p.m. ET

DALLAS, Texas — Everyone in Washington is (or should be) "mature" about insurgent conservative candidates taking establishment spots, a group of Tea Party senators and senatorial candidates said in a press conference on Thursday.

"I think people are pretty mature about it," Kentucky senator Rand Paul said when asked by a reporter if it would cause bad blood within his party to negatively campaign against Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in favor of Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz.

"Other than few people in the Senate, just about the rest of the Senate opposed me and my primary and got involved, but I still talk to them," Paul said. "I mean, I'm a big boy and people have thick skin. It really isn't as much of a problem as you'd think, that all of a sudden people don't talk to each other." Paul added that he's on "a very friendly basis" with "many of the Democrats."

Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Jim DeMint (SC), Sen. Mike Lee (UT), and Senate candidates Ted Cruz and Richard Mourdock (who's running in Indiana) held a joint press conference after FreedomWorks' FreePAC rally in Dallas, where all five had spoken.

Mourdock noted that longtime Indiana Senator Richard Lugar endorsed his opponent but still joined Mourdock onstage after he won the Republican nomination for the retiring Lugar's seat.

"It is a matter, as Senator Paul said, of maturity," Mourdock said.

All five men said they were confident that Cruz would win his race against Dewhurst, the results of which will be decided on July 31.

Lee described Cruz as a "genius" — "this man belongs in the U.S. Senate," he said.

Interjected DeMint, "If he's a genius he doesn't belong in the Senate. He won't fit in at all."