There aren't any major differences in beliefs between "Tea Party" activists and the Republican Party, the top House Republican said Thursday.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the GOP and the groups conservative activists across the country are indistinguishable when it comes to policy.
"There really is no difference between what Republicans believe in and what the tea party activists believe in," Boehner said during an appearance on the conservative Mike Gallagher's radio show.
Boehner said his advice to Republican lawmakers going into this fall's elections has been to "prove it to the tea party activists that we really are who we say we are."
The official GOP has wrestled with how to channel the energy of the tea party activists, with some figures in the party -- from Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) -- having been willing to show coziness with the groups.
But Democrats have sought to also paint top Republicans as being in lockstep with the groups, whom Democrats often deride as "teabaggers."
Still, Boehner emphasized that the GOP would continue to advocate principles and offer alternative solutions to those posed by Democrats in Congress, who have charged that the Republicans are little more than a "party of 'no.'"