January 28th, 2010
09:48 PM ET
4 years ago

Two key Tea Party Convention speakers cancel

 Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped out of next week's Tea Party Convention.
Rep. Michele Bachmann has dropped out of next week's Tea Party Convention.

Washington (CNN) - Two major speakers at next week's first Tea Party Convention are dropping out of the lineup.

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Thursday that they will not be attending the convention, which is scheduled to start late next week in Nashville, Tennessee.

Blackburn was scheduled to serve as a featured speaker and also introduce the keynote speaker, former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Bachman was scheduled to serve as one of the convention's kickoff speakers. Both congresswomen are strong supporters of the tea party movement.

Blackburn's congressional office says the House Committee on Standards advised her not to participate in the convention, which is being put together by the Tea Party Nation as a for-profit entity. Tea Party Nation is run by Judson Phillips, a lawyer in Tennessee.

"I spoke to Judson Phillips this morning and let him know that I could not participate in the convention. I told him frankly that Tea Party Nation's for-profit status has put many of his speakers in an awkward position," Blackburn said in a statement.

"Standards advised Congressman Blackburn not to participate in the event due to uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used. Convention organizers have not been clear about how those funds will be put to use. We have every indication that any profit could be put to work to advance grass roots causes and some of those uses could make the Congressman's participation improper after the fact," says Blackburn Communications Director Claude H. Chafin

It was a similar message from Bachmann's office.

"Due to conflicting advice on whether Representative Bachmann's participation in the upcoming Tea Party Nation Convention would be in line with the Committee on Standards, Congresswoman Bachmann has decided not to participate in the event. There is uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used, and we must err on the side of caution," says Bachmann Press Secretary Debbee Keller.

"We regret that they are unable to attend, however we do not want them to be challenged by the committee or the Democrat led Congress," said Philips in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Both congresswomen say the canceling of their speeches is not sign that their commitment to the tea party movement is fading.

"Some will want to portray her withdrawal as a repudiation of the Tea Party Movement, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Congresswoman Bachmann remains encouraged by all Americans, regardless of political party, who are concerned about this nation's future and dwindling prosperity, and continues to be inspired their passion," says Keller.

Blackburn says she remains encouraged by the "outpouring of energy from constitutionally minded grassroots organizations in Tennessee and around America.

These groups are not made up of Republicans or Democrats, but everyday Americans who are concerned about their freedom. They know that out-of-control spending and the expansion of government ultimately limits that freedom. I share their concerns and look forward to working with them in the future."

(Updated at 5:00 p.m. EST with statement from Tea Party Movement)


Filed under: Extra • Michele Bachmann • Popular Posts • Tea Party movement
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Mickey

    ...figures...even these MOONBATS don't want to be associated with the racist teabaggers...

    January 28, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Patrick

    Too bad. I was looking forward to them shooting any and all centrist support for future campaigns in the head.

    January 28, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. katiec

    Bachman is such a nut case it is probably a plus for her not to appear, although am not in favor of any advancement for these
    people.
    So, does that just leave Palin? She is not going to forego her
    $100,000 fee.

    January 28, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. brad

    You know it's a strange conference when Michelle Bachman cancels an appearance because of its being questionable.

    January 28, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. cal

    if both of these idiots are such supporters of the tea party movers they should follow them wherever they roam, just like the heard of hyenia's they are.

    January 28, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Are people growing brains? Giving lip service to the cause and bowing out of the way so as not to be seen as "one of them?"

    Certainly looks like it.

    January 28, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Russ in Benton AR

    They may have found out what the original tea party was about.
    No citizen is taxed without representation in the United States of America, unless they are to stupid to vote.

    January 28, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Pepou

    who cares what these crazy, antipatriotic nuts are doing ?

    January 28, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. jfs Memhis, Tn

    They are afraid to show thier constituents whom they TRUELY are. I am fron TN and Blackburn is going to have a race for her life.

    January 28, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    This is a blow to the Tea Baggers. Do they still have Sarah at $549 a ticket after they called her a RINO?

    January 28, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Glad I wasn't drinking something when I read this. backman is worries about standards?
    Is this the same woman who incited a tea bagger group to revolt against the government?
    What a freaking hypocrite. Then again, she's one octave higher than the quitter so ears will be saved during this soiree.

    January 28, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Malik

    The Sarah Palin route she says she will she will

    and when it comes time she won't!

    January 28, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. JA/TN

    this tea party stuff is a joke, where were they during the previous administration sleep or head in the sand, i appauld the cancellations, tea party folk really are about racism, when it comes to the presidency of this country

    January 28, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. ATL Guy

    The Tea Party is too wacky even for Bachman? She's clearly out there in loony tunes land but those Tea Party people are in a zone of their own.

    January 28, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Gil Oberdas

    I would cancel too if I knew the convention was going to be a bunch of ignorant sore losers!

    January 28, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Fred Riek

    I think that the Tea Party people should require everyone participating and certainly speaking to pass the stringent code for determining who is a true conservative and to not only excclude them from attending but to banish them from the Republican Party. I believe it is the duty of the Tea Party founders to ensure the purity of its members and to only include members only of the Aryan race that espouse their supremacy and infallibility. That is the only way that Americas can finally defeat and eliminate its most dangerous theat and number one enemy, the do nothing Repugnant, I mean Republican Party.

    January 28, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. Stacey

    CNN, you forgot to state the reason why they have cancelled. They cancelled because they were not getting paid the six figure dollar amount that Palin is supposed to be getting. From what I hear, the folks responsible for this can't sell enough tickets to pay Palin. Palin wants $150,000 just to blabber incoherently. It costs over $500 to attend this steak and lobster dinner. The Tea Party is a racket. I know you won't post this CNN, but I commented anyway.

    January 28, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. C Spurgeon

    Oh dear, life will not be the same at the wacko convention with the absence of these two wackos...maybe they want to be paid like Palin???

    January 28, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Tom in Delaware

    Let's see...would I rather have the Tea Party's problems or Obama & friend's problems....Hmmm, that's a no-brainer.

    If this is the worst thing that the Tea Party has happen then they'll have a great convention.

    Obama....uh, not so much.

    January 28, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. CR

    Too much crazy for one event!

    January 28, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Wayne

    Good. The Nazi/Bolshevik party has no friends. I mean, political suicide is political suicide.

    January 28, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  22. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    The Tea Baggers are a bunch of nuts.

    January 28, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Jackalope

    I guess they decided to attend the "Free Scott Roeder" rally instead.

    January 28, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Bachmann Is Plum Crazy

    Oh no, if they want to start talking crazy and influence what the whacky right are saying, they have to go through the fire, and stand with the crazzies.

    Why back out now? I mean you can't get everyone jazzed up and then run before the riot starts. Stand with the tin-foil wearing, birther, deather, looney, crazzy people.

    January 28, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. John in Tampa

    The Tea party movement is a joke to me and I started reading the article ready to chuckle and post some witty zinger. But Blackburn and Bachmann are correct to back away from the non-transparent goals of the for-profit organizers called Tea Party Nation. True tea partiers need to watch out for that kind of thing. To achieve anything you do have get organized, make committments, and put up money for advertising at very least, but you can't get rounded up in order to make money for someone.

    January 28, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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