December 3rd, 2009
06:34 PM ET
8 months ago

Tea Party Express, Part Three

Washington (CNN) - Just about every blockbuster movie is followed by a sequel, or two. The tea party cross country caravan, it appears, is no different.

A Tea Party Express official tells CNN that they're planning a third national tour in late March and early April that will culminate in the nation's capitol on April 15, tax deadline day.

Levi Russell, a spokesman for the group, which is organized by the conservative political action committee Our Country Deserves Better, says the slogan for the tour is "just vote them out."

Russell says that with the crucial 2010 midterm elections just months away, the tour will spotlight members of Congress who they consider the worst offenders when it comes to fiscal policy. While both Republicans and Democratic lawmakers will be targeted, Russell acknowledges that more Democrats than Republicans will be on their scopes.

Russell tells CNN that tour is expected to kick off on March 27 in Searchlight, Nevada, which is the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He adds that the three Republican candidates running to challenge Reid in next year's election are planning to attend the rally.

Just as the first tea party cross country caravan ended in the nation's capital, as part of a taxpayers march on Washington on September 12, this national tour is also scheduled to conclude in D.C. as well. The conservative group FreedomWorks organized the first march on Washington and will reprise their role for the April 15 event.

The first march ended with a large rally in front of the U.S. Capitol. This time organizers plan to hold their rally near the White House.

"September 12, 2009 was a historic day for patriotic, grassroots Americans who care about freedom," says Brendan Steinhauser (no relation to the writer of this article), director of federal and state campaigns for FreedomWorks. "The momentum has continued, and we expect hundreds of tax day protests on April 15, 2010 around the country. But the biggest event of all will be right outside the White House, where President Obama can hear and see us."

A second tea party cross country tour in late October and early November experienced a drop off in the number of people participating and in coverage by the media. But Russell says that drop off was expected and feels the third tour will be the best one yet, saying that "we'll be well into the 2010 election cycle and the campaigns will be heating up."

As with the first two cross country caravans, next year's tour is expected to highlight the message by organizers and activists that the federal government is too large and too intrusive into the lives of private citizens, federal taxes are too high and that the federal budget deficit is out of control.

Last month, a separate group announced that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be the main attraction at what's being billed as the "First National Tea Party Convention."

Tea Party Nation says that last year's Republican vice presidential candidate will serve as a keynote speaker for the conference, scheduled to take place in Nashville, Tennessee from February 4-6. The group also announced that Rep. Michele Bachmann will be speaking at the gathering as well. The Minnesota Republican has become a hero among many in the conservative movement.

Tea Party Nation is not part of the planned national tour in March and April and Tea Party Express is not taking part in the tea party convention.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

–CNN All Platform Journalist Jim Spellman contributed to this report.


Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Derek Smith

    I am so there! ...and bringing my friends with me. We are so tired of having our pockets picked all day, all night, directly, and indirectly!

    December 3, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Tristan

    If it's fiscal responsibility they are preaching, they need to target pro war legislators. That is where most of OUR money went.

    December 3, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Jason Travers

    CNN and all the other news organizations have got it all wrong. People of America don't "hate" Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, people of America hate the fact that the Federal Reserve is actually nothing other than a bunch of rich foreign bankers who control this country behind the scenes and who do not have Americans' best interests in mind. They all out solely to make a profit. They were set up to avoid recessions and depressions, yet, since they've been "controlling" things, we have had NOTHING BUT recessions, housing bubbles, stock market bubbles...they really NEED TO GO!

    December 3, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Don

    Great! Let's keep our money out the hands of Washington. It belongs to us, not some idiot bureaucrat who thinks he/she knows how to spend our money better than we do. Keep up the good work you tea baggers and don't listen to the critics. Heck, they can pay all our taxes if they want.

    December 3, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Jason Travers

    I am deeply saddened by the fact the United States has the worst tax code on the Planet.

    December 3, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Ken in Gainesville

    The Anti-American express rides again! Morons across America. These losers should get a job.

    December 3, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. jerry in VT

    We have always had "TEA PARTYERS" throughout our history. They were at the Whiskey Rebellion, and they were know as the Know Nothing Party. Most of these folks are not racist or insincere in their beliefs. They are frustrated by the complications of the modern world and of the changes taking place which are leaving them behind. So, like Howard Beel in "Network" (or his imitator Glen Beck) they need to scream "I'm angry and can't take in anymore". Angry people can't be reasoned with. Let them vent, but make sure to counter their simplistic message when the opportunity arises. Not highlighting their errors of fact and judgment is dangerous and that includes their favorite tactic of shouting opposing opinion down. A technique that was all too familiar with another "populist" movement in pre-war Germany.

    December 3, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Keeth in California

    Where were these teabaggers when Bush gave away billions in Iraq and to Wall Street? Where were these teabaggers when Alaska, under Sarah Palin, forced oil companies operating in AK to give some of their profits back to the state so that she could "spread the wealth around" to AK citizens for simply sitting on their buns?

    When the GOP take your money, conservatives call it "good for business." When the Democrats take your money, conservatives call it "socialism."

    What a bunch of clueless hypocritical "morans."

    December 3, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    Since President Obama has been in office my taxes have NOT gine up and I am gainfully employed. So these tea party must must be protesting the taxes that were raised during the Bush era...but they had to wait until a Democrat took office so they could come out and protest them. The money these people and the "grass roots" folks that back them could be put to far better use I would think. I suspect more yelling and more racists Obama pictures and slogans this spring. But it amazes me that since the tea party express has taken wing.....NOTHING has changed. Same goverment...same tax structure......same president. Another waste of time.

    December 3, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. Nellie Bly

    So, they'll drive over Interstate highways on this tour? Stop as roadside rest areas, too? Will they thank those responsible for providing these things, you know, the taxpayers, state and federal government?

    December 3, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. leanderjim

    they can scream all they want........problem is, what they still don't realize, is that it is ELECTIONS that determine policy........we just had one and they lost..............

    December 3, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I have support for the teabaggers and some things I can not embrace with this group. I can feel the pain of my 56% in taxes I pay from my hard earned money into a wasteful Government. However I can not embrace the exclusion this group holds towards my fellow citizens who may have a lifestyle they fear. (i.e. gay marriage, the continued waste of the world's police men)
    Somewhere there is a middle ground that can be acceptable, this conservative group says they want a return of constitutional law and then in the same breath oppose gay marriage, the end of the drug prohibition, and their continued support for the two wars of occupation for corporate profit.
    I'm not a very smart man but I know what love is....and love is about inclusion not exclusion.

    December 3, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. mjm

    "Since President Obama has been in office my taxes have NOT gine up and I am gainfully employed. So these tea party must must be protesting the taxes that were raised during the Bush era"

    Are you libs really that dense? They are talking about government spending that can only lead to higher taxes for everyone. They are protesting future taxes, not past.

    What do you think happens to taxes when the government spends 3 trillion in the first year? They go down?

    December 3, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. I support the President

    Oh goody. More idiots on parade.

    December 3, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. melissa

    Tea Parties are not about Repub or Dem. They are about both...we are tired of taxes. One of you wrote that if you look at all your deductions you actually don't pay all that many taxes. Well, I live in Ca and there is a tax on everything. We actually pay over 55% of our income in taxes.

    December 3, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. sara

    Hey Losers! Give me back my Social Security and Medicare. GET a Job like me. Socialism Must be Good, Right. I can pay my electric bill.

    December 3, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  17. Mike

    The last time the so called Tea bagers supported a candidate in upstate NY, the Dems ended up wining a sit that they haven't won in more than 100 years.

    December 3, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    DONT LET UP!!!!!!!!!!!! Show the government socialists that it is THE PEOPLE who run this country, not the politicians. Government exists for the benefit of the PEOPLE....not the other way around as Obama would like it.

    December 3, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Perecorp

    Hey tea-baggers we DARE you to come to downtown Seattle. You'd be lucky to get out alive!

    December 3, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. Ancient Texan

    You far left loons are going to be surprised and amazed at the sheer numbers of folks that have had enough. All of the McCain voters plus millions of voters that couldn't force themselves to vote for the Liberal McCain or the Socialist Obama, will take back America in 2010 and 2012. Just keep laughing and dismissing them.

    December 3, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. Alex Rogers

    While you are at it, be sure and remind us of all of that Conservative wisdom and accomplishments during Bush's 8 years. Especially the planning and rational orientation toward the war or the lowering of controls on banks and Wall Street, etc. I agree, vote them out, especially anyone who was a Bush-Cheney supporter.

    December 3, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. I am the not-so-great and powerless wizard of Rush

    These are Dick Armey (former R-Aetna, Enron, Exxon, United Health, et al.) minions.
    There is nothing grass roots about these people.

    CNN: please report the facts behind the charade.

    December 3, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  23. Marcus

    The problems with those tea fellas is not what they believe in, everybody is entitled to have their own opinion about anything and everything (even if that means to believe in things like Flat Earth).
    It is a CONSTITUTIONAL right.
    So what is the problem with them? Not what they believe in, but HOW they express their beliefs. Pettyness, arrogance, divisiviness and obstructionism are not a way to achieve anything, but a good way to become irrelevant, after all who wants to hear someone who acts like he or she is better than his/her listeners?
    'Hollier-than-thou' doesn't sells well anything...

    December 3, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Amazing

    I support this cause 100%. This is about government wasting our money and raising our taxes so they can waste even more. Those of you who don't get, probably don't pay enough taxes to understand our frustration. Don't criticize what you can't possibly understand. There is no reason Nancy Pelosi needs to spend 3,000 worth of our money for flowers, can't she buy her own flowers?

    December 3, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. D. Tree

    I'm sorry but these Tea Parties are full of some gullible people.

    I bet most of them don't even know they are getting a tax CUT from President Obama, and that the "Stimulus" contained one of the biggest Middle Class tax cuts in history.

    Yet, here they are like a bunch of fools, protesting against the guy who gave it to them.

    In the meantime, the corporate puppet-masters behind this Astro-turf movement only really care about getting tax cuts for THE RICH.

    What a bunch of sorry gullible fools!

    December 3, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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