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. Edwin

    Sounds the Tea Party is getting into some Hot Water... LOL

    January 28, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. ib

    The demo's and liberals will say anything do anything to try to shut the tea parties down. Why? Because they are terrified of them that's why.

    January 28, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. harold

    For Profit Tea Bags?.. What about private Health Insurance for Profits government.. and their private Health Insurance premium Taxes going up 20% every year?..... Are the Congress ladies against the Insurance companies also?......Guess they will just have Tea at home huh?

    January 28, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Justin

    If they really endorsed the tea party movement they would leave the republican party..... Republicans are just as much to blame as Democrats for where we are, and for all the GOP blustering about pork, they sure do like to have thier forks in the pig as much as the next guy!

    January 28, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. SuperHiro

    It's a shame, the Tea Party movement has the right ideas but it's just poisoned by morons and attention seekers trying to add their own personal conservative gripe into the mix. It degrades from the movement. Tea Party should focus on one thing and boot the distractions.

    January 28, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. CAW in MD

    And yet when Bush was spending like a drunken sailor, there was nary a peep from the tea baggers. How convenient.

    And don't give me that garbage about how blaming the previous administration is somehow off limits. Bush and the Republicans had the House, Senate, and White house for six of Bush's eight years. Can't blame the Democrats for that. And even when the Democrats took over Congress, if Bush didn't like what they were doing, he could have wielded a veto pen. Yet he didn't. Very interesting.

    The fact of the matter is that Bush doubled the nations debt in 8 years, to the tune of adding more than 5 trillion dollars to the debt. And what did he have to show for it? Two failed wars and an economic crisis. And again, nary a peep from the tea baggers. And now they're complaining about spending to keep the economy from cratering?

    Kinda makes ya wonder, doesn't it?

    January 28, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Robert

    Those tea party people are just crazy. it seems to be that they do not have anything better to do. perhaps, they are rich and that is why they do not care about middle class people.
    The more I see them the more angry I GET AT THEM. They should be promoting unity not splitting the coontry.

    January 28, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. LoveThyNeighbor

    I think that the word "splintering" is called for. No one in the party can make up their minds on WHAT is going on besides faultering in the so-called polls. THEY have become the "my-way" society. They do not want to include the diversity of THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA. People WANT America to move forward. The Relic' party is out of gas...Sir Sam

    January 28, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. Doraine Gordon

    These two crazy old gals are dropping out because they aren't being paid 100,000 dollars like Palin. They are introducing the village idiot from Alaska for nothing. To even get involvedwith this thing in the first place shows how dumb they are. And we are paying them to help run our country. No wonder we are in trouble!!!

    January 28, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  10. LoveThyNeighbor

    PS: There's something screwy about all this...Sir Sam. Screw yer heads on correctly when you get out a bed in the morning!

    January 28, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  11. Mike in MN

    Bachman is great!!

    January 28, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Darrie

    Grass roots OR For Profit?!! Which one is it? ....and Let's KEEP THEM HONEST as they say on CNN......

    January 28, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. M

    I love that the "for profit" status is what makes them awkward...not the racial undertones and lack of reason.

    January 28, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Sarah

    Good for these ladies.......but Sarah Palin is still speaking.......what's that tell you.......she just doesn't have the intelligence or the principles that these ladies have....

    January 28, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. Pragmatic

    For profit? I thought all these people were "grassroots" ... now someone is going to make a profit on all their anger and the turmoil! The more rage – the more profit so let's just keep the drama going!

    Good decision by these two congress critters ... anyone getting too close may find themselves left "holding the bag" ...

    January 28, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. foreverindependent

    Ridding on the tea party band wagon is a double edge sword. On one had, republicans like the fact the tea parties are trying to rip democrats especially Obama. On the other hand some of tea party members harbor extreme ideologies. So, associating with those elements of the tea party could actually hurt republican party image in the long run.

    January 28, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. guy from NM

    looks like the rats are leaving the leaking boat

    January 28, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. Deb n Texas

    Maybe they have FINALLY realized just how stupid the whole ordeal really is.

    January 28, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  19. MatthewDetroit

    Barack "the Liar" rammed the supreme court last night and LIED in his statement.

    It is wrong that the president although a low end person would try to rip on the Supreme Court. His lack of etiquette and intelligence just shows how wrong it was to elect this clown of a man.

    It is wrong that he would slam them in his speech.

    To subject the Supremen Court to this embarrassment is truly unholy and wrong.

    This IS a breakdown or our country. He is a lousy individual... Booh Obama.

    January 28, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. D.D.

    Oh Michele, stay there and be the leader. You and Palin can give the new coming party the bases they need. Then you call call others over like Red Rover.

    January 28, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. sara

    They knew all along this group of people was being "bilked" and that Not some of the movement is "for profit", but all of it is. Get out of these poor people's pockets, you sleaze balls. Palin is all about her pocketbook and bank account....it is so evident. It is expected of her as she Resigned her governmetn job to be self-serving and make money. But no matter how crazy Bachman and the other "B" is, they know it is unethical while "serving" themselves..uh, working in the house of representatives.

    January 28, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. ruffian

    Too late princess. Crazy is as crazy does, and you've done more crazy than any politician in recent memory. You're all done as of the next election. Dust off that resume sweetheart.

    January 28, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. A. Goodwin

    The less Bachman speaks, the better the world is.

    January 28, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. daveF

    The so-called Tea Partiers are ignorant & stupid and definately uneducated. Let them be controlled by Rodger Ailes and the like and pay the higher prices for medical insurance, drugs, etc. It is their lucky day if they have shoes on their feet and come in out of the rain. They don't realize that they are being used by the Wing-nuts. I think they should have their own Country. Give them Texas and the other Southern States. Then build a 50 foot fence around it with no gates in and they can then "party" all they want. By the way they can trade with Mexico. The rest of us thinking people can do without them.

    January 28, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. 1776

    Bachman is done. She's one of those extreme right wing nutjobs that spews lie after lie.

    January 28, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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