Some of the principles that lead to the creation of the tea party are "still very important" to the Republican party heading into the midterm elections next year, GOP strategist Chip Saltsman told CNBC on Tuesday.
"The tea party I don't think is dead," the former Mike Huckabee campaign manager said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "If we're going to be successful, we need to represent less government, lower taxes, less regulations."
Under that mandate, Republicans have been trying unsuccessfully to repeal or defund or delay Obamacare ever since 2010. The party took a beating over the October government shutdown and debt limit fight—both of which played out with conservatives demanding concessions on the health-care law that President Barack Obama would most likely spurn.
But with the botched launch of the individual mandate provision and the millions of canceled policies because of the law's coverage requirements, the GOP sees an opportunity for a "we-told-you-so-moment."