January 28th, 2010
09:48 PM ET
8 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. mike from atlanta

    STANDARDS, that`s funny considering the republicans have no standards.Just look who the key note speaker is.Old I QUIT PALIN.

    January 28, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. NC

    Who cares, just 2 less nuts ranting and raving.

    January 28, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. mike from atlanta

    Tea baggers should quit whining and join the rest of the country in trying to fix our problems instead of trying to make the president fail which is hurting all of us.Where were these protesters when Bush was taking the country down the toilet?

    January 28, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. steve anton

    Michelle Backman is worthless. She is always putting her foot in her mouth and never thinks before she speaks. I surely hope she is not representative of the good people of Minnesota. If so, that state needs to get a huge enema immediately!

    January 28, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Nick , California

    Its funny how politicians stray from their convictions once election time comes rolling around!! If she really felt strongly about this issue she would attend no matter what!

    January 28, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Texas Liberal

    What a phony. Michele Bachman simply decided not to be seen in "bad company."

    January 28, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Isaac

    The idea that they are making this a for-profit event is ridiculous. This is just some money hungry lawyer trying to use what is becoming a fairly large movement to line his own pockets. I don't blame these representatives for withdrawing. I would expect all elected officials will likely withdraw before the event. And if they don't, they really should have. Palin won't leave, because all that woman is out for is more money as well. So, it's a good fit.

    January 28, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Alex

    I am so sick of congress people supporting the Teabagger movement. If Bachmann is so bent on smaller gov't, then she needs to resign from her position and let someone who actually supports taxation WITH representation (Teabaggers also need a lesson in history and constitution, b/c they are ignorant on both matters) work tax-paying Americans.

    By her definition, she just wants to keep collecting her tax-payer funded paycheck and healthcare benefits, without actually doing any work.

    January 28, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Mr. Meteoritical

    Where was all of the ring-wing outrage at big government when their favorite son George Bush was pushing the Patriot Act and creating the Dept of Homeland Security? It's funny how they support big government when they agree with it, but oppose it if it runs contrary to their narrow world view. These Tea-Baggers would be a joke, if so many of them weren't registered voters – god help us all if these loons manage to elect a candidate.

    January 28, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Independent voter and thinker

    This is called Politics and politicians looking out for their own interest, not the People. They don't care about anything else but them. I don't agree with the Tea Parties movement because they are radicals but what Republicans are doing is taking adavantage of the anger of this group when it's convenient for the politicians only.
    And the situation happen in both sides ... politics as usual in our country, until the day everyone re-register as Non-declared and politicians have to figure out how to work hard for our votes because they can not take it for granted anymore.

    January 28, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    Boy, it's a really bad sign when the Head Whack Jobs don't want to address the rest of the common whack jobs......

    January 28, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Ralph

    A for-profit event. Pretty much defines the conservative movement.

    January 28, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. Clint

    For profit? What else would motivate these despicable people?

    January 28, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Papasan

    Right Wing Loonies!

    January 28, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. rich in az

    palin will show. she wants that money.

    January 28, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  16. kelly

    Funny, where was their outrage when Bush was destroying our freedoms with the Patriot Act? ...........................................yeah, exactly.

    January 28, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Emma

    The greedy Tea Party coordinators trying to make big bucks with which to line their own pockets are not looking like benevolent patriots. If Sarah Palin goes and speaks, it will say a great deal about her allegiance(s) which she may not want to have exposed. Oh, I forgot, she can always blame the press.

    January 28, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  18. Minnesotan

    I don't think anybody cares what Michelle Bachmann does or says... most Minnesotans sure don't and we're looking forward to voting her and her delusions out of office this year.

    January 28, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    Why doesn't this group do charity work or spend their money helping the needy with their food and rent bills? The entire bunch are a waste of everyone's time and money.

    January 28, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. Mountain Dude

    I don’t know what is weirder, the demeanor, gun carrying, or the idea that the GOP could have anything to do with fiscal responsibility. This disillusioned group should think about starting their own candidates not who the GOP and Fox News tells them. I guess without Fox news dictating this it wouldn’t exist. Silly putty is fun to play with.

    January 28, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  21. Rob Johnson

    The petty, childish response the Tea Party Express posted about Obama's speech last night proves, to me at least, that these people are not worth taking seriously.

    There are plenty of Republicans who were able to express their differences with Obama in an intelligent, thoughtful way, but the Tea Party crowd doesn't appear to have either the intellect or the inclination to do so. They would rather call Obama names.

    January 28, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. just saying

    Yikes! At least now Palin can withdraw, since she didn't want to be the only quitter. Besides, she really REALLY wanted the $$$, of course. You betcha, and also too.

    January 28, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Keith in Austin

    I appreciate the fact that these two Congresswomen are ethical and above board. They are a far cry from most liberal democrats that feed on back room deals and bribes with taxpayer money!

    January 28, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. androloma

    Conservativism is, as a movement, virulently opposed to reform, even against blatant corruption. Too many times the rhetoric of the conservative is the credo of the reactionary.

    Progress is a forward motion which can never be achieved by people looking back in history or the stagnated conservative elitists who seek to press their agenda at the expense of the working class. To be conservative when reform is so badly needed in so many areas of American culture is obscene and profane.

    The rich have their advocates in the Republican and Democratic parties. Who will advocate for the working poor? Better yet, when will the working poor decide enough is enough, and stop providing slaves to this nation's wealthy? They who don't go to fight and die in wars, but rather make themselves a burden to those who do.

    January 28, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  25. MatthewDetroit

    Barack had or has 30 Lobbyist on his staff and white house staff.

    Apparently he is a liar.

    Barack has 1.45 Tillion added to the national debt in frist year alone.
    Apparently he is a liar... But he is going to cut 15 billion a year starting next year...

    He cant pass healthcare but he blames republicans.... he has 60 Democrat votes.... I am sorry barack your math is wrong.

    He ripped on the Supreme Court.... I thought we had seperation of powers for a reason.... now he is trying to make ill of them.

    January 28, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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