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. mike

    Palin doesn't mind the conflict of interests pointed out by the Standards Committee. It is of no concern to her how much of the money is going to Judson Phillips himself or how the rest of it is used... she's already been guaranteed her $75-100k of the profits made by the conference (according to most sources online).

    She's no longer the Governor of Washington for the very reason that she can now cash in on her celebrity (without violating campaign finance laws).

    News flash... profiteering off of political issues is the bussiness of a lobbying group. The Tea Party Lobby just sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Oh well... some folks will buy anything you sell them. Apparently, paying for "freedom" has a ring to it that undereducated folks simply can't resist.

    January 28, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. Orange Curtain, CA

    The Tea Party that hated trial lawyers and blames lack of tort reform for all the healthcare problems...is owned by a lawyer. Go figure.

    January 28, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. ???

    "A thinking man/woman, unable to communicate is no better than those who can not think."
    –Paracles

    January 28, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Dave

    A bitter, foul brew those tea baggers make. Even the GOP wont touch it.

    January 28, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Alan, Phoenix

    quitters........
    Palin won't quit this time as she is getting $100,000 to blabber......

    January 28, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. Ethan

    Idiots all. They set up a FOR-PROFIT political convention. What kind of intellect doesn't catch on that that's just a horrible idea? Unreal. The Tea Partiers have about as much credibility as the Republican Party, ZERO, NONE.

    January 28, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. Ronald E Miller

    since the presidents speach last night i guess that marshblackburn and michele bachman are going to taper dowm making fools of themselves.

    January 28, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. Runofthemill

    WHAT!!!!????!!!??? RINOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!TRAITORS!!!!!!!! Get out the pitchforks and torches!

    Maybe palin and bachman have a spoecial "date" of their own....or maybe these classy broads, the kind of high class broad one would expect to meet in an alley behind the Bowl-a-Rama - maybe they did not want to get tea bagged in front of a crowd.

    Besides, arah has her own money now, she actually has a day job so she can go on shopping spress on her own dime- and she doen't look right in a tinfoil beret.

    January 28, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  9. Pel

    I am sorry to see the crazies pull out of the event. Organizations of this type is a perfect fit for the ultra right wingers of the Repugnant Party

    January 28, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. OldUncleTom

    Still and always, the best way to stimulate grass-roots is a generous application of manure. Ask any gardener...

    January 28, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. feup with GOP in Houston

    Well there's a strange thing..some republicans are waking up to the fact that most americans disagree with the tea Party idiots.

    January 28, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  12. always proud dem in nc

    Tea party wackos are made up primarlily of Rethuglican right wing nut jobs. They are promoted heavily by the pathetic Faux News Channel. They are Palin's people!! Stupid, full of hate, bigoted lunatics. She's the biggest one of all. They buy into the swill the far right spews out and they CANNOT think for themselves. They let the clown Glenn Beck tell them how to think. Traitors!!!!

    January 28, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Albo58

    I can't imagine a Dimwit actually cancelling an event to avoid the possible appearance of something improper or unethical or illegal, for that matter!

    January 28, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Thomas, Missoula, MT

    Rats abandoning the sinking ship?

    January 28, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Troy B.

    Conviction: neither of these women have it.

    January 28, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. mike d

    why weren't these folks out there when bush and the republican congress ran up the debt by NOT paying for two wars and a medicare drug program. he cut taxes besides. and they wonder why deficits are high? this president and congress didn't do it . i know the tea baggers are big hypocrites but i also don't think they like the color of obama's skin.

    January 28, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. 21k

    What, she doesn't want to be seen supporting people who want a fully functioning "guv'ment" that pays soc security and medicare, but don't want to pay any taxes?

    January 28, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Albert Sheets

    Well isn't just dandy! You two want support & then when it poses a problem, you bail. This is just the kind of actions that Obama & the Dems need to see. I will do whatever I have to do to see that you two are not reelected.

    January 28, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. David

    Sarah Palin – keynote speaker – says it all – MORAN – !!!!!

    January 28, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Chad

    The "Tea Party" people would be wise to separate itself from these vapid politicians.

    January 28, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. m smith

    does that mean ol palin will only speak if paid. The repos would do well to stay away from the tea baggers all togeather. They may win some seats in the short term but in the long run the majority of people will not back such radical wing nuts

    January 28, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. Seattle Sue

    Maybe if the tea party paid Blackburn and Bachmann as much money as Palin will get they could be persuaded to attend the party.

    January 28, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. Gary

    Blah, Blah, Blah. Now lets see if the country's biggest " For Profit" crook will still attend.
    Even Bachmann is smart enough not to be around Palin.

    January 28, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Dan, TX

    What we did find is a CNN/Opinion Poll Research Corporation Poll conducted January 8-10 of this year that showed most Americans actually favored the creation of a public health insurance option administered by the federal government that would compete with plans offered by private health insurance companies. With a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points, 54 percent of respondents were in favor, and 46 percent were opposed.

    Hey tea party, you are a minority. You know what we do to minorities don't you? Come to my town and we'll get you good.

    January 28, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  25. Elliott Carlin

    I am truly looking forward to the elections this year and in 2012. The Scott Brown election was just the 3rd shot (Virginia and NJ before) over the bow with more to come.

    Interesting time to be following politics. Hopefully Socialism is being revealed to the masses for what it is.

    January 28, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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