For most of a year, the small-government advocates of the "tea party" movement have stolen the spotlight from the Republican Party's veteran performers: the Christian conservatives who have long driven voters to the polls for the GOP.
Now the veterans are stealing the tea partyers lines.
In news releases, mission statements and interviews, prominent social conservatives increasingly are using the small-government rhetoric popular with the tea party activists and long used by economic conservatives -- but with a religious bent.
Their websites explore the morality of debt and the risks to religious freedom posed by growing government. Like the tea party activists, they reverently invoke the Founding Fathers, but emphasize the role the founders' faith played in their writings.