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February 3rd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Welcome to the Tea Party: Infighting plagues conservative group

Editor's Note: CNN's Jim Acosta takes you inside the Tea Party movement and sits down with those who started it to talk about the factions within the movement and the first ever 'Tea Party Convention.' Tomorrow on American Morning, they were behind Scott Brown's upset win in Massachusetts and now they have their sights set on the Senate race between Florida Governor Charlie Crist and tea party darling Marco Rubio in the Republican primary.

By Jim Acosta, CNN

Take recession-raging conservatives and independents, add a Democrat to the White House, and you get the tea party.

And there's more brewing in this rebellion against bailouts and big government than just Scott Brown's Tea Party-infused upset in the Massachusetts Senate race.

"This was a major victory in what I would call the 2nd American Revolution," says Mark Meckler.

Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin, founders of the “Tea Party Patriots,” want this movement to blow the lid off Capitol Hill in this year's elections.

They plan to back candidates who stand for tea party principles. It doesn't matter if it's a Republican or Democrat standing in the way.

“I think that if it had been John McCain the same thing would have happened. I truly believe it,” says Martin.

In one year, the Tea Party has gone viral – from dozens to now hundreds of loosely linked groups around the country. But Meckler and Martin don't tell them what to do. That's not the Tea Party way.

"It's all bottom up. I mean, the real deal is that there are millions of leaders out there leading this movement," says Meckler.

There may be leaders in the Tea Party movement, but nobody is in charge. Rival groups from Washington, D.C. to Sacramento, California are battling over who will carry the Tea Party banner. And that fight has some tea partiers feeling hung-over.

“I don't think the Tea Party knows what's happening to the Tea Party," says Jim Knapp.

Knapp, a Sacramento Tea Party activist, fears the movement is about to be hijacked by one of the established parties. "I don't think there's any question the GOP has their tentacles into the Tea Party," he says.

Knapp points to the “Tea Party Express," the conservative bus tour that crisscrossed the country last year. It's run right inside a Republican political consulting firm.

“I think what you'll find with a lot of the people at Tea Party rallies, many are Republicans themselves. Us included,” says Joe Wierzbicki, who runs the Tea Party Express.

After spending $350,000 to air pro-Scott Brown campaign ads, these Republican consultants argue the Tea Party's home is the GOP.

"The people who formed this movement need a major political party," says Wierzbicki.

The movement's future is on the agenda at the Tea Party's first convention, set for this week.

But, even with Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin headlining the convention, it's being boycotted by some Tea Party activists, scoffing at the $550 admission fee.

"It wasn't the kind of grassroots organization that we are. So we declined to participate," says Meckler.

Despite all that infighting, it's clear the Tea Party is on a roll. Where it rolls is anybody's guess.

The big question ahead for this movement is whether it evolves into a third political party. That idea is being advanced by tea partiers who are disgusted with the Republican Party. But GOP operatives point out that third political parties rarely win.


Filed under: Politics • Welcome to the Tea Party
soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Max Newman

    Pictures of those rallies could easily be mistaken for Klan rallies. They seem to be made up of the same people.

    Where are all the Tea Party activists of color?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  2. Nelson, Charlotte, NC

    I have to laugh and say that this "tea party" is about as organized as the government it protests. It goes to show that no matter what, you can't get away from bureaucracy and incompetence. I suggest spending your time trying to do something other than stand around and protest......like try to meet with your elected officials and see if you get some dialogue started?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  3. Ren Car

    It's funny to me that when Bush, Cheney, especially Rumsfeld poured billions of dollars to defense contractors instead of funding the US military these so called patriots didn't say anything. When thousands of lives were lost in Iraq (when the invasion was promulgated due to Oil and war profiteering), these teabagging idiots didn't say anything. The anti-war movement rallied on the streets asking for Bush to quit or be impeached but there was no talk of a revolution. But when Obama tried to fix the economy and healthcare, these lunatics are crying for a revolution? Are these people insane or just plain stupid?!?!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  4. roxana

    Who's party is this? Who cares.. as long Palin is on the top they can not be taken seriously. Who can support the women who can see Russia from her window? Come on – are you as good as that or you become decent?
    You have to decide.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  5. deborah

    President Obama has not raised our taxes, as a matter of fact, we pay less taxes. This is a shame, this tea party crap. I wonder why everyone thinks we don't have to pay taxes. We HAVE to pay taxes, it is our DUTY to pay taxes. It is the AMERICAN way. That is why the USA owes money, not enough people CAN pay taxes. Wake up people. This life was not guaranteed to be free, nobody owes us anything. I wish everyone was on a more level playing field, no more poor. God did not mean for it to be this way.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  6. Festerfree

    Raleigh Muns and Afghan Vet are RIGHT ON... these people are a bunch of white upper middle class citizens who have the leisure time to travel in style, complaining about taxes?! Well too bad! I've paid taxes to support children's education and welfare moms while I was responsible enough to use birth control. I have funded several wars (& more to come) even though I think that war is the worst and deadliest option to any problem. I pay income, sales, property, car, road, and hospitality taxes and I thank the Universal Power every day that I have a job and CAN pay my taxes. That's called "the attitude of gratitide" and they could use a good dose of being thankful. "Government exists for the sole benefit of the owners," so stop thinking that you matter! What a joke these pathetic people are. They are perfect for Palin... like hand in glove. She's a dumb wind bag too.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  7. Bob

    Tea Partiers are people.
    Any one who calls them or any other group names because they don't agree with them is saying more about them selfs. We all have the right in this country to agree or disagree with anything.

    Let us try GO USA for a change.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  8. Ken

    The Boston Tea Party of the Revolutionary era had NOTHING to do with taxation of the Colonies. It was an Anti-Corporate uprising against the East India Company whose products had all taxation REMOVED in order to drive the Dutch Tea Merchants out of business. This ruined a LOT of local businesses in Boston and they revolted, throwing the Corporate Tea into the harbor. If the Teabaggers persist in using this title, they REALLY need to have a better knowledge of history.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  9. gozal

    What do you all know about socialism? Nothing. I came from former USSR. All these comments are crazy. Nobody gives anyone rights to call each other names.First of all learn to respect each other.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  10. Brad

    P. T. Barnum is rolling over in his grave. A MILLION new suckers born every minute. I'll stick to coffee, thanks.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Stephen

    The ones that are actually serious slept through or forgot high school civics. Fact is, stuff isn't free. Education, military, roads, services – you can't have it for free. Too many people in this country want top notch everything for absolutely nothing, and you just can't have it that way. Taxes can't be cut much lower before we become a 3rd world country.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  12. Ernest Hua

    Ok, GT, I am calling your bluff. How many people died last year due to lack of proper healthcare? Let us hear your version of the facts.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  13. Proud Pagan in VA

    "No-longer silent majority?"

    Newsflash... The Tea Party is a tiny, miniscule slice of the American Population with extreme delusions of gradeur.

    Crybabies who want it all, but just don't want to pay for it. Pathetic.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  14. Fred

    I just started hearing about the Tea Party not too long ago. I have respect for them, at least they are doing something instead of doing nothing. I found out that Sarah Palin is NOT THERE LEADER. I guess who ever is saying that is not doing Much Reading and making things up. I also noticed they are alot of Replublicans and Independents at these Tea Parties but now they are quite a few Democrats Joining them. I Guess it doesn't matter who you are, just Independent thinking instead of Lying Polical Brains is all that is needed.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  15. Richard

    A real danger indeed if the T party is hijacked by a major party; Republicans as the article above says. This is an opportunity for real collective grass roots issues to be expressed and heard.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  16. ayapan

    What Tea Party?
    It is Republican + Tea = RepublicanT Party !!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Muhlz

    Both parties are the same.......we all know there is only one party. Thats the government party. We need somone who will shrink the government back down to the size the way constitution authorized it to be. We need to stop policing the world and proping up the welfare state. End our world dominance around the world in which we spend over a trillion dollars a year to maintain. We need to defend our borders and freedoms here at home. We need to focus on SOUND money. We have to restrain the federal reserve and the government from destroying our dollar and driving the american people into debt and taxtaion through inflation. We need to fight corporatism and coruption in washington. Lets get real change and real politicians into office.

    Ran Paul for senate
    peter schiff for senate

    Ron Paul 2012 =)

    February 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  18. Jobe

    Hey moderator. CNN is a joke! No wonder I don’t watch it on TV. There was absolutely nothing inflammatory about my posts. CNN will fall dead on its face if it continues to censor.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  19. FAUXNEWSLIES

    Yes many of these teaparty rallys look more a Klan meeting. White racists yelling racist slogans,especially aimed at the President. The original Teaparty of the eighteenth century were the toal opposite of these white trash racists who watch Faux News 24/7 and follow every word their leader Rush utters. Sarah Failin Palin is their Queen. Yes most of these people are obese,racist,uneducated,selfish Un Christian traitors to the true American way! You betcha!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  20. Kat

    Obviously these people against the tea party don't read or pay attention. Yes the tea party movement is about taxes (income taxes). It's about eliminating income taxes and having a flat rate sales tax so that ALL people including illegals and drug dealers have to pay taxes. It's about not having your hard earned money stolen from you before you even see it for plenty of programs that you do not support. It's about having a choice. Not to mention that it would bring in more tax money for the government than income taxes ever will and some people are tired of seeing more than a third of their money stolen all the time.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  21. notamused

    it is so funny to see all the hate filled liberals shout down and call names. I mean seriously, if George Soros is not funding the organization then it must not be valid. CNN constantly trying to drum up hatred for the "tea parties" just shows how stupid and desperate they are.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  22. Jason

    I am amazed at how stupid most of these comments are. Everyone should get a job and suport themselves. If you don't have insurance get a job that offers it or buy it yourself. If you are on welfare, jump off a cliff. We don't need you and I am tired of paying for you.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  23. Ren Car

    Someone asked "what did Sarah Palin did to you to say harsh words about her". Well, she is downright ignorant, ill-informed, and stupid. The teabaggers call Obama all kinds of names so why can't we call her names as well?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  24. Robert L. Kauserud

    Always interesting to read comments on politics on the CNN page,

    Conservatives don't have a monopoly on intelligence, but it sure seems that liberal democrats have a monopoly on stupidity !

    Give him another year in office and you liberal whiners will want to know where to find the "Tea Bagger's Office".

    February 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  25. Sandy

    You are asking the wrong question here. The real question should be "Who is Paying for This?" I saw this group in Nevada last summer as I was traveling. Small, motely group in a park with cardboard signs in some tiny town with card tables set up and kids in strollers. Suddenly these huge, expensive custom buses show up with hundreds of people and there is a rally. Big professional signs, loudspeakers, etc. Like a rock tour. Same people at each rally. Fed, transported and housed by...someone? Who? And what is the real motivation for spending that money? There is much more here than meets the eye. This is not a grass roots movement. There is money behind it, big money. As they say, show me the money. That's where the real story is.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  26. Diana

    The Tea Partiers remind me of a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. They're angry and irrational, and they have no idea why they're so angry, but everyone's gonna know about it.
    Get some actual ideas for fixing what's wrong and then the rest of us will listen.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm |
  27. Coletek

    Why is the CNN story MORE interested in who leads the Tea Party vs the content of what is being discussed at the rallies and why these issues are being discussed? Isn't that more relevant? Who really cares who's leading the way if its giving thousands/millions a voice that they other wise wouldn't have....that perhaps think they are being ignored. I'm not sure i support what the Tea Party is discussing or endorses but I'd like to hear what they have to say. When the CNN's of the world are selective on what they place their story's focus on, they lose credibility with people like me who are just looking for accurate info and objectivity from the media.

    If the tea party had anything to do with the recent senate race in Massachusetts, personally i dont understand how this story can say the tea party is made up solely of conservatives....all stations reported that Mass is predominantly a democratic state.

    Please stick to what we need to know. Objectivity is not just making sure facts are correct...its also represented in the story's angle.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  28. RSH

    Tea Partiers are idiots. First, they desecrate a historical moment in early American history — the Boston Tea Party, which protested British tariffs. Secondly, they believe that lower taxes are the answer to everything. Bush's tax cuts, along with the foolish Iraq war, are to blame for the national deficit.
    I have a mortgage and a job like most Americans, pay income and property taxes. Taxes are the least of my worries. My biggest fear is losing my life's assets to hospitals and doctors after losing insurance due to job loss or disability. The Tea Party should wage their protests against health care providers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry.
    Like Joe Biden correctly stated, "Paying taxes is patriotic." The real EVILS of the U.S. government are as follows:
    ELECTORAL COLLEGE
    LOBBYISTS
    SPECIAL INTERESTS

    February 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  29. Plastic American

    I do not support the Tea Partiers, so I cannot be a real American.Therefore, I am a proud Plastic American, from my polystyrene head, to my PVC toes. 😀

    The Tea Party has passion & motivation, true.

    But it has no PLAN to implement its goals. It has no imformed, educated leadership. It even despises the idea of informed & educated leadership, describing them as "elitists". As if knowing what you're doing is being elitist! HA!

    Without leadership or brains, the Tea Party is...nothing.

    But beware! Pre-WW2 Germany had hordes of angry & unfocused people, & Adolph Hitler offered them an outlet.

    One demogogue could turn these Tea Party rabble into a deadly threat to our Republic!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  30. Mike

    Ron Paul started the tea party movement. Palin is just trying to ride the wave of public discontent. Palin is a joke, she's no Ron Paul. Its so incredible how ignorant people are about economics, and any one who supports the stimulus doesn’t understand how they are being robbed and enslaved. There will be no new party because the rules for elections to get on ballots will not change. It will always be a mix of ideologies and party infiltration.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  31. Ben

    "I'm so sick of hearing about Sarah Palin and Russ Limbaugh. "

    Then stop going to, and reading articles about them. Sheesh!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  32. William

    These people have no idea what they're even angry about...

    Big corporate bailouts? I'm sure they don't realize that "bailouts" were LOANS from the government that had to be repaid. The government has actually MADE MONEY on them.

    They just think it's the "big government democrats" writing checks to "wall street fat cats."

    What's so ironic is that that's exactly what (real) republicans do. It's so weird that the lower income, lower education level people are so hardcore about being republicans, when the republican party ideology benefits the rich and the democrats are all about the every man.

    It's because republicans have manipulated everything to be about Christianity. These people are all a bunch of crazy religious freaks who have no idea what they're talking about

    February 3, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  33. Charles

    To the CNN moderators,

    The joke is the fact the CNN does its best to cover up the statistical fact that the Democratic Party and the liberal cause is hurting. I know my comment wont make it to your blog, because it just might wake up one or two of the sheep CNN has as an audience. I stand against CNN (and any other news organization for that matter) that misrepresents 'truth'. I'm a Fox News fan, but if they should ever become as deceitful as CNN, then I hope they follow CNN's lead to financial failure. Editors get a grip!, Just because some person with a PhD stood in front of you class some years ago spouting some liberal agenda bs doesnt mean you need to follow those morons or believe what they say and allow such substand individuals a path into your being.

    As for the Tea Partiers, I'm not part of it, to be honest, they are too liberal for me! I'm ultra-conservative, but good for those folks using their 1st amendment rights. CNN has 1st amendment rights too, but try to do better than Fox News, and actually be "Fair and Balanced" So far, in my opionion CNN is more slanted than Fox.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  34. Ernest Hua

    Tea Party people need to get more of their intelligent people on screen. Right now, the only ones getting attention are the nuts who scream about no government health care in the same breath as keep your hands off my Medicare. That kind of attention does not help your movement.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  35. Ben

    "teabaggers mean nothing."

    That's right... now ignore us and go away. We mean nothing. Keep thinking that. Go to sleep now, let us grown ups handle this.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  36. Jon

    The TeaPartiers are simply some of the "haves" whining about the increasing numbers of "have not's" who may be gaining some political power. Little is different in this country in the past year except for government taking control of some areas that the politicos and wealthy let get out of control.

    I'm a white male in my late 50's with an advanced technical degree . I have not been able to get full-time employment since 2003. I can't get health insurance even if I could afford it. I may be unable to afford my mortgage in another year or so and nearly have exhausted my savings and retirement.

    What America do they want back? The one that has a "sick-care system" based of profits from staying dependent on the system. One that in effect rewards poor health habits. One where certain classes had lifetime careers with fat pensions. My guess is it's the one where this group had such unreasonable advantages over some of the "have not's". They want the America that produced what many Europeans call Americans: "arrogant, ignorant, fat, lazy, over-indulgent, senseless consumers, with an overblown sense of privilege, and air of superiority". They don't want to be held accountable or to be responsible. This overweight gang will become a burden on our healthcare system even if they are insured.

    And, as if having a nice big house isn't enough, look at the $200K+ RV's some of these folks travel in. And you have to ask why some in the world hate us enough to want to blow us up?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  37. daBamBZ

    Just remember who started all this. Glenn Beck and the Fox news network

    February 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  38. Julia - Native American from Idaho

    Just a note, this is what the Aryan Nations are posting on their website

    ""Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live." -Adolf Hitler

    "

    February 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  39. Thomas Payne

    Let's dump all publically provided health care, give govt workers a dollar allowance for health care, and let everyone go to the free market. We've heard the insurance companies are able to provide protection for all with a few exceptions, so let's dump the socialist health care including the public health care for public office holders.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  40. ster

    "I am not a "tea bagger" but have a second cousin who is"

    No, you're just a liar.

    And even if it was true, I guess you're a Democrat, no?
    Did you know that the KKK came from the Democrat party?
    Did you know the Democrats filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Bill?
    The Democrats have a former KKK Kleagle in the Senate?
    I guess that makes you the same as the KKK... and a racist, right?

    No?

    Then don't paint everyone with your idiot brush.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  41. Mike

    You have to laugh a these dumb parties. Tea parties will do nothing to stop BANKS, and American CORPORATE GREED from doing what they want. These problems will alway be here and there is NOTHING anyone can do about it. Americans have NO choice but to WORK for organizations that control the majority. Politicians are there to make sure AMERICANS do what they are told to do or JOBS will leave the USA. Why is it that everyone fears terrorists but AMERICAN GREED is accepted by everyone eventhough people are forced to work 2 jobs and still have their home taken away from them.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  42. Ernest Hua

    Matt says And I am not a Sarah Palin supporter, but I do ask what has she done to any of you to have such harsh words for her?

    Your movement has allowed Palin to become its spokesperson and default candidate, so she is will be evaluated on her merits. Most of us see very little merit as exemplified by the combination of her journalism degree and inability to name any newspapers or magazine she reads. There is no need to make excuses for her. She wasn't worth your effort. Someone else should take that position, but your movement chose her, and that really lowers your movements credibility.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  43. Andre

    I am just amazed at how people are so upset with the Dems for spending and the deficit level. How could you even consider putting Repubs back in office, when the Repubs are mostly responsible for our current deficit levels minus Obama's spending this year, which was predicated on funding two wars and keeping the country from imploding as a result of Bush era policies. What about Bush's budget, which hid most of his war spending? Just imagine how strong this country would have been economically had Clinton's surplus continued through 2009.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  44. ster

    "Agreed. They have no direction. Leave the thinking to us Independents, Democrats, and Republicans."

    Yeah.... that's been working out well.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  45. Tickled pink

    I love it! You libs just keep thinking this will all pass and nothing will come of it. Just a bunch of idiotic, overweight, tea-bagging white peolpe right??. Just go to sleep...sweet dreams!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  46. JPH

    The IQ of the liberal CNN bloggers seems to be tanking along with the network's ratings. Funny how liberals have no problem taking shots at the physical appearance of the Tea Party. Oh you are all so Progressive! Don't say anything policitcally incorrect about anyone, except of course white conservatives. Then trash them, because you are all so smart, liberal and elite. You're a joke and are going to get taken to the laundry in the next election.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  47. ster

    "That's the biggest lie this group has told us yet. They hate Obama"

    I guess I hated Bush too. Oh wait, I DID!
    Went to several rallies under Bush. We didn't get the "tea party" name until recently (thanks to CNBC), but we were there.... 5-10 years ago.

    I hated a white guy in office and now a black guy. Since I'm Hispanic, then I must be only race! LOL! You fools.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  48. ster

    "That's the biggest lie this group has told us yet. They hate Obama, they hate anyone who doesn't stand for them and have no respect for democracy."

    Keep it up.. these lies. Please do... it will only help us when the lies are finally exposed. It keeps us in the news... and when people do not see racism (I'm not white and attend), they'll slowly figure out YOU are the liars. It's happening now.

    Please keep it up! PLEASE!

    February 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  49. larry

    and now We have PROGRESSIVES AND TEABAGGERS, according to OBAMA. WHO WILL WIN . STAY TUNED

    February 3, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  50. ster

    "Why are they all white?"

    Usual liberal projection. They're not. I know. I was at the one in DC. I am Hispanic. I went with a busload of mostly Hispanics.

    Wake up, fools. Why do you only see white people on TV? Two reasons... #1: You want to. #2: The media WILL NOT SHOW any minorities, they don't want you to see that.

    Trust me, in DC I saw 15-20% minorities. Mostly Hispanic and Asian.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  51. Linda Lane

    High correlation between the same people screaming for lower taxes and screaming at the left that they are soft on terriosm. They want war with Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, N Korea, and on and on.... and then they wonder why we are broke.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  52. ster

    "Funny how no one mentions that tea parties have been going on for more than a decade"

    It's not convenient to their argument. Remeber, these people are hicks, racists and ONLY hate having a black man in office. LOL. That's their only argument.

    Noting that these people have been around, even during GW Bush means their only argument is false. You'll never see the MSM mention this either.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  53. kladinvt

    So, would someone (how about a journalist?!) start asking these teabaggers, what it is they actually stand for.
    I keep hearing references to limited/smaller government, extolling individual rights etc.
    With that in mind, do the teabaggers honestly believe in a Libertarian agenda?
    And if so, do they then support:
    marriage equality?
    egalization of marijuana?
    a women's right to choose?
    Or are they merely the worst elements of the Republicans hiding in Libertarian drag?

    February 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  54. Jacob

    The blind hate for the tea party. That's why their candidates win, because the elite refuse to recognize the concerns of the mass.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  55. Ray in Nashville

    It's funny, but the Tea Party really supports the same things extreme right wing Republicans support, their anger at the GOP is aimed at moderate Republicans. In fact, Tea Party activities were organized and supported by Republican entities. Furthermore, I would bet my bottom dollar that if the Tea Party came up with a party plank to run on in the upcoming elections, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and the Republican Party plank.

    What this country really needs is a true third party for the centrists who make up the majority of voters. They are the ones that both Democrats and Republicans have to turn to to get elected.

    February 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  56. djb

    i have a solution to pay for healthcare, reduce debt and solve alot of our financial problems........anyone who is complaining about the reach and growth of government in our lives can give up mail delivery, medicare, medicaid, social security and visits to the VA among others.......you just can't have it both ways guys......or maybe you didn't know these were govt. sponsored?!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  57. Nomad

    To "American"
    Yeah, here we go. REAL Americans, that's what you're calling these seething masses of faux nuse lemmings? Not quite, my friend. We are all real Americans, whether we agree with their (your) rhetoric or not.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  58. DEB/ALABAMA

    The teabaggers merely want to blame things on someone, they are simply wasting money and time.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  59. Huh?!

    That's the whitest party I have ever seen! I love the way they claim to be independant but they only want Democrats thrown out. The tea party isn't being hijacked by the Republicans, it IS tghe Republicans... Minus the few minrorities the Republican party has now.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  60. Jeff E

    Good Lord.. do only hardcore Democrats read CNN.com? Seems so based on some of the asinine remarks by folks who apparently don't understand the two party system has failed. Perhaps the Tea Party movement is being hijacked by Republicans at the moment but regardless, politicians on both sides are getting the message that business as usual isn't going to fly anymore. Independents carry the power in this country now.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  61. rrock

    These are the morons who want to cut government spending but somehow still spend 1,000,000,000,000 per year on the military so we can be the toughest guys on the block.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  62. D Skaggs

    One day it would be great if we could all just come together, as 1 nation, and get things DONE. It seems in today's society, we would rather spend 100's of 1000's of dollars turning people against each other, splitting the country, rather then getting together and getting things that we need done in this country accomplished. People like this make me sick. Kind of like the GOP trying to block everything our President is trying to get accomplished for our country. Is this good politics? Maybe.... Is it getting any of our serious issue's dealt with? Hell No
    When are people going to finally realize we are in this together, as one nation. The problems we are facing are EVERYONE'S problems, not just the democrats, or the republicans.
    You can accomplish a lot more when people back each other up and work together. You can cause a lot more problems when people split up and focus on argueing rather than progression.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  63. chris

    They have a right to be upset, the biggest tax burden is on the middle class. Sure the rich get taxed more, but they can afford it, the middle class carry the heaviest part of the load from society. As for the poor, most of them made bad decisions in their life and now they get tax breaks on taxes they don't even pay as well as the largest benefits from social programs that they don't pay into. The middle class may have good health insurance that is covering their "preexisting conditions", but that is because they bought into health insurance when they were young and healthy probably through their employer when they got their first job out of college and they paid their dues. They are not looking to skip out on paying into the system by not buying insurance until they need it. Why should they have to shoulder the problems of most of the poor who decided to drop out of high school or not get government subsidized loans to go to college to better themselves and be a benefit to society rather than dragging it down. The ignorant are those who reap the benefits off other people’s backs without knowing what sacrifices it takes to work full time and go to grad school on the weekends and in the evenings while paying into this socialized system to benefit the lazy without anyone lifting a finger to help them in return, what gratitude!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  64. ster

    "This "movement" isn't anything special; it's just getting a lot of media coverage. They have not done anything worthwhile or memorable, and it's these people that give the states a bad name."

    Keep thinking that... please. That's what they though in Mass. Look what happened.

    The sea just retreated, don't be the last idiot standing on the beach, wondering where the water went... when the tsunami is just minutes away.

    No wait, do be that person. All of you... be that person. It'll be fun to watch.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  65. GregInSeattle

    The Tea Party movement is a temporary movement which spontaneously arose in response to the insane amount of debt (now up to $3 TRILLION in just two years) that the far-left Dems in charge of the country are "hoisting" on us. That's it. If you're a fiscal conservative, of any party, you're welcome to join us.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  66. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Why did Blackburn and Michelle Bachman back out of the teaparty convention? They know that the teaparty group is ripping their sheep off huge sums of money. It will be exposed and down they go. Serves these morons right. Anyone who listens to Sarah Palin is just begging to be scammed.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  67. Joy

    I would like to know more about the people involved in forming this movement. Do they work? Are they unemployed and therefore collecting benefits that this President and this Democratic Congress extended. If so- be true to the cause and give it all back. How many of these people actually have health insurance and who pays for it? Is it government sponsored health insurance, if so, give it back. If retired and collecting social security and medicare, give it back because big bad government gave it to you and we all have to pay for it.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  68. Proud DEM

    To Oregon Skye: Amen! I am in complete agreement with you....show these people who they really are and what they really stand for...they really have no idea what they are protesting..the majority are uneducated and racists...bottom line. As a fellow Oregonian, I have started to see bumper stickers that are supporting Palin for Pres???? what in the world is going on.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  69. Julia - Native American from Idaho

    I tried to leave a comment but CNN would not publish it. I live in Idaho, the Aryan Naitons are devout tea baggers, now tell me this is not a racist movement? If you read the local paper, in Spokane Washington you will see that they are harassing people, painting swastikas on cars that belong to people that are African American, it is disgusting, You see racist bumper stickers, like the one during the last presidential election. I can't even repeat it here it is so horrible. You see cars with Aryan Nations, signs and symbols, Yes freedom of speech to be a racist. In my opinion these are just hate crimes. Have you seen the racist signs they carry at these tea bag meetings?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  70. Mary

    You want to hear something coherent? What about this? This teaparty wants Washington to stop putting the taxpayers into debt and bankruptcy. Washington has put themselves into an arrogant bubble over a number of years and people are tired of it. We are tired of our taxdollars being wasted. We are tired of backroom deals with "special" states and unions which absolve them from paying and will put more of a burden on the rest of the taxpayers. I could go on and on. Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth and people are tired of it. Above is just a beginning.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  71. ster

    "Cry me a river. There's no injustice to be fought, and these so called patriots are still going to be paying their taxes. If they want to make a real message, they can go to jail for bailing on their taxes if they don't want to support the stimulus bill."

    Then you are blind. If you pay taxes, you have a right to be heard. They feel they aren't.

    And jail for not paying taxes? This is America, we do not have debtor jails. That in and of itself is anti-American, READ YOUR HISTORY. The only places with debtor jails are places like the former USSR, Cuba, et al...

    Your slip is showing, you inadvertantly showed all of us that you do wish for a Socialist/Communist power governing us. Nice going... you're supposed to keep that quite.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  72. foxwagen

    I've heard from these people – and I'd like the poster that said that many coherent ideas have come out of this group to point me to where they are posted.

    The burning question I have is not "would there be a tea party if McCain was elected", or "where were these people during the Bush administration?", but rather "What do they think of Clinton, who was the only president in recent history to end his term with a budget surplus?" I'm sure they'll give the credit to the Republicans...

    February 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  73. Gary

    Just another movement to keep us divided instead of focusing our efforts to successfully discuss and make meaningful change. Our narrow minded views continue to keep us in a deep hole. We cannot go back in time. The 50’s are gone forever. We need global views for a global world. There is no I in team.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  74. Jobe

    I see allot of the race card being played in these comments which is totally ridiculous. This has everything to do with the lines being crossed by government. Government IS force. Fact is which ever party elected abuses its power by using the machinery of government to force by whatever arbitrary law it creates moral or immoral to threaten its citizenry into compliance. Quit this left right BS and just be honest with your selves, it’s whether you are statist or not. Most people who proclaim to do service (other than unelected bureaucrats) take an oath to support and defend the constitution and up holding the rule of law. But then they twist the laws so they don’t have to obey them. The only answer is for people to vote their senators and congressman out on a regular basis until they understand that they do not have a RIGHT to my property or my money. We are not slaves who work for the collective, we are individuals! And as an individual I can say I am tired of being robbed and no I won’t leave without a fight. And I will hide and save my money and I will speak out whether any one likes it or not. Stop suck on government teet! Molon Labe!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  75. joseph

    Linda Blankensop and Ed L You both are a pack of idiots

    February 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  76. Bob in Atlanta

    I almost forgot. I notice liberals love to use the phrase 'teabaggers' instead of tea party. Honestly, which group of people do you think has more 'teabaggers' in it, Democrat/liberal or Republican/conservative?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  77. ster

    "Ah, the diarrhea mouths have emerged. No substance coming from brain dead people."

    And nothing more than name calling and no facts (or substance) coming from those on the other side.

    You hate these people spouting "diarrhea" and yet, here you are, doing what you say they do.

    A little jealousy and maybe some projection? It's a term, look it up.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  78. Boisepoet

    Terrible reporting:
    "In one year, the Tea Party has gone viral"
    It's not considered grassroots or 'going viral' when it is started by groups connected to conservative lobbyists or advertised incessantly on a major cable network.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  79. Tom MN

    I went to the first Tea Party gathering in my state last Spring. Based on what I saw, there appears to be no point to their group other than carping about the usual Conservative targets. It wasn't just plain ol' citizens who were not happy about the level of federal spending (purpostedly the reason for their existence), the grounds were crawling with representatives of every right-wing cause you can think of. What does being against abortion have to do with federal spending? How about home school proponents? I never saw so many signs with the word "socialism" on them. And signs declaring Obama to be a fascist! These people don't know the meanings of these words! What about those who were excoriating "tree huggers?" Those with anti-immigrant t-shirts and banners? The group whose banner read "Deport the Neo-cons" (it was the libertarians who had this). The gun rights crowd was there in full force (and this relates to taxation & federal spending how??). I saw a group in camo carrying a large banner with the name of their "militia" on it. How about the group of child support protestors? WTF w/ that?? How about the anti-public school contingent (even the KKK supported public schools!)? A couple women who proclaimed that Ayn Rand's fantasy world would be a good model for our country to emulate. They were all there, but I saw only one non-white person in the crowd. Just average, hard working Americans. Yeah, right. Next time you go to one of these things open your eyes and your ears to the messages the protestors are sending. The Tea Party attracted a diverse group of wingnuts whose agendas went way beyond what the average American taxpayer is concerned about.

    This group is going nowhere. The trajectory they are on leads only to their own destruction from the directionless, but white hot heat of their anger. In the meantime, they will bring down the Republican party.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  80. ster

    "If you whine and protest for lower taxes DO NOT claim to support the troops."

    I guess Ben Franklin didn't support troops either.
    Typical liberal reasoning. If you don't spend and borrow everything possible, you're not a patriot... you hate children, you want people to starve.... etc.

    I guess Clinton didn't support the troops with his tax cuts and spending restraint, right?

    Idiots.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  81. Bob in Atlanta

    I notice that a lot of posters are calling the Tea party participants fat. Since we're going to mention personal attributes;. Have you ever compared liberal women to conservative women? Liberal women have to be the ugliest bunch of women on the planet. And I guess it's probably ok to say that most liberal men are pansies who probably wouldn't even defend their wives or children from harm.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  82. BlackBarbie

    I hate when they say "TAKE BACK THE COUNTRY" , they mean from Obama, it's not their country to take back, if they succeed in "taking back the country", perhaps they will return ownership to the american indians, oh yeah white people, if you are not from a native american tribe, then you are an immigrant too,

    February 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  83. Daniel

    Like I said I am not a tea party favor but Obama and the bunch idiots following him want health care for all the border divers and unemployeed.Oh wait a minute isn't that called the wellfare system?What happened to people earning things by the sweat of their labor?I have a lady in my office that is 8 months pregnant and tried getting a swine flu shot at one of these traveling circus acts and even thought she was insured and willing to pay they turned her away for the unemployeed and illegal.What is American about that?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  84. Mike S., New Orleans

    Teabagger = code for Lunatic Fringe. I thank God they are following Sarah Palin to nowhere.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  85. Al

    Matt,
    You are just as misinformed as the Tea Partiers that you say you disagree with. You need to get your information from other sources than Fox News. Some of the things you have posted are not true. Democrates are very teacher friendly. The President proved it by saving teachers jobs in many states thru the stimulus package and pledging to spend more for education in his recent State of the Union address. Also our taxes pay for more than just the military, they also help support our infrastructure. You havn't heard of any bridges falling into rivers since Obama has been in office have you?

    February 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  86. Robert

    I don't understand why the Tea Party people were not so alarmed when President George W Bush was running up such large defecits while he was in office after inheriting a surplus from the previous administration.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  87. Michael

    The 'Cool-Aid' party is more fitting. Because that's what they're all drinking.
    But I think anyone with more than half a brain knows that it was begun by ultra conservative Republicans to protest the Dems – but they were too afraid of using their own party to do it.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  88. GReg

    From reading these comments, this looks like the normal bashing of both parties. I and the others I know that support the Tea Party Movement are more informed than most. We watch try and stay up to date on what is going on in congress. We look at what bills are being submitted and read them (if possible). Anyone can do this. just go to thomas.gov

    If you just listen to the media, (CNN, FOX, MSNBC...) then you will never know what is truely in the bills. Almost every bill that has been submitted in the past few decades have had so much added to them that the original subject of the bill ends up being a minor part.

    We need to put Congress on notice. Bills need to be simplified. We need rules in place that would not allow more than one item to be in a bill. Let each idea stand on it's own. No more sneeking bad legislation in the back door.

    Stop listening to the BS that the media and political factions are spouting. Start reading and researching and make up your own minds

    February 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  89. Dave

    It is frustrating to see people out demonstrating for unfair taxes,etc. during the middle of the day when I am in the middle of a 72 hour work week........Love ya

    February 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  90. Kim

    So CNN I guess the game plan here is to release as many negative articles as you can about the Tea Party movement but, don't report the numbers in which they gather. Last I heard over 8,000 gathered in Massachusetts. But, you can't talk about that can you. Orders from headquarters as usual. Most people posting on this are reflecting what they don't know. That's ok follow your leader off the cliff.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  91. starzzguitar

    The so-called Tea Party people are real patriots. These people are also Americans, and will not be ignored. These people want lower taxes, and personal freedom from the Obama government as much as possible. They are also proud Capitalists. You pathetic liberal socialists who want to destroy this country are on your way out, get used to it, you have been exposed.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  92. JimK

    I have said it before and I'll say it again: where were these people when Bush and Co. was running up a $1,000,000,000,000 and counting tab for a pointless war? If you are a true fiscal conservative you MUST support reduced military spending.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  93. Johnniemite

    Firstly, a party without a leader after one year is like a fish with no head and that's no-no; and its attachment to any party becomes a venomous and destructive. Second, "Take recession-raging conservatives and independents, adds a Democrat to the White House, and you get the tea party." Especially if the Democratic leader happens to be mixed race that breaks a stereotype pattern, Tea Party would proclaim "wanting his country back" because we live in two Americas or more, and no one Nation under God" no longer and "indivisible."

    February 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  94. bill babishoff

    No fear of the overweight, middle aged white people party. They are now the minority. If it weren't for their demigod Rush Limbaugh, they would have no opinions whatsoever. Power to the people!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  95. 1776

    deficits, wars, bailouts, wars, stimulus, terror, wars, torture, civil liberties violations, wars, terror, deficits, tarp, taxes, wars, banker heist. Yea, the dems and repubs have been wonderful for this country haven't they...

    February 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  96. Tony

    How many of these teabaggers were up in arms with their hair on fire when the previous President was committing future generations to spending nearly one trillion dollars in Iraq? No worries then, since it was a Republican making that commitment. Teabagger logic must have it that Republicans can blow money wisely and everyone else just blows it. What a bunch of double standard right-wing Republicans.....I mean Tea Partyers. Same thing.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  97. ali

    Gullible, misinformed pack of idiots!

    This is a FOX NEWS sponsored movement...

    The worse part about this is that they are making Palin the center of their movement. They are shooting themselves in the foot by putting the focus on that ignorant quitter!

    And if Palin does run for president in 2012 she would get stomped so badly, by her own party, that they would need her dental records to identify her..she doesnt have an ice cubes chance in hell of winning!

    February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  98. Justin Clark

    The editors at CNN are aiding the crackpots that started this so-called party. It is ridiculous. You are giving credence to a bunch of unintelligent, diluted, radical fanatics. It is noteworthy that at least two major news networks are actively fighting for the ideological right wing conservatives. Thanks CNN. I say more people should listen to some of the ideas that Obama has suggested instead of trying to bring back the GW Bush years...

    February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  99. Todd

    They remind me of a new age Fascist movement.

    February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  100. rich

    I don't think it was a coincidence that this tea party was drummed up right after Obama was elected. Some of these "tea baggers" definately carry a racist streak carrying their Al Jolsen Obama signs it's subtle racism at it's best. Where were their complaints during the GWB days, there was war, illegal wiretapping under the guise of the Patriot Act, mismanagement of money plenty of backroom deals going on, 30 million americans without healthcare the question tea baggers is "where were you then?".

    February 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
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