WASHINGTON -- After two months of being identified as the public face of a new Tea Party political organization, Sharron Angle on Monday took steps back from the group.
In December, Angle said she was lending her name to the Patriot Caucus Political Action Committee with the donor list she built during her unsuccessful bid to defeat Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. The former Nevada assemblywoman raised $27 million during her campaign, making that list a prized commodity.
"The Tea Party movement stood with me through a hard-fought race" against Reid, she said at the time. "It's time for me to give back and help our movement take the fight against big government to a new level."
But Angle has been coy about her ambitions. Her relationship with the Patriot Caucus, which is associated with Tea Party groups in 15 states, gave rise to speculation it might be a vehicle for whatever her next move would be.
When the Tea Party Republican appeared in the early caucus state of Iowa last month for the screening of a faith-based movie, Angle was asked whether she was running for president. And pundits picked up the beat when the Patriot Caucus reiterated on its website that it was opening offices in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Florida.
At the same time, according to a Twitter posting Monday by Elizabeth Crum, editor of NevadaNewsBureau.com, "rumors of Angle's disillusion with Patriot Caucus PAC ... have been simmering for weeks."
Angle issued a statement Monday that she said "clarified her relationship with the Patriot Caucus PAC."
"I had originally lent my name to this PAC to help them start up so they could assist in organizing Tea Party efforts and local conservative grass-roots GOTV (Get-Out-the-Vote) efforts," Angle said.
"They are off to a good start. I am pleased to have been of assistance. I was not and am not now, involved in their decision-making processes," she said.
Angle said she was working on "several projects" and would announce them in updates to her website.