February 5th, 2010
10:35 AM ET
4 years ago

A Tea Party litmus test?

The Tea Party Convention organizers are preparing a set of 'first principles.'
The Tea Party Convention organizers are preparing a set of 'first principles.'

Nashville, Tennessee (CNN) - Tea Party Convention organizers tell CNN that they are proposing a set of "first principles" for candidates seeking support from the one year-old small-government movement.

Organizers of what is being billed as the first national Tea Party Convention are expected to announce the principles at a news conference Friday afternoon at the event, which is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

Mark Skoda, a businessman and founder of the Memphis Tea Party, who is also serving as spokesman for the convention, refused to term this as a litmus test but said that candidates would have to adhere to the principles to be eligible for tea party fundraising and support.

The principles include fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, states' rights and national security.

Organizers say the convention has attracted a sell-out crowd of around 600 attendees from across the country.

Among the sessions scheduled for Friday are workshops on how to conduct voter registration drives and where to find conservative votes, women in politics, how to organize a Tea Party group, how to involve youth in the conservative movement, grass-roots "on the ground," how to unite state Tea Party groups, technology in the Tea Party movement, and why Christians must engage.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Sounds a little Hitler-youthish to me.. I mean come on... Everyone must be exactly the same in support of their extreme agenda??? Do we really want a government full of robotic clones?

    I despise any political group that would hamper the independence and individuality of a party's political leaders. How is that freedom? How does that encourage bipartisanship in a 2 party system?

    This group is no good...

    February 5, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. JC

    People, the best way to learn is to learn from someone elses mistake. Go talk to Michael Steele.

    February 5, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Phil

    This sounds they're getting ready for a 21st century KKK rally

    February 5, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Dave

    "Principles"? HA!

    February 5, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. billy123

    I wonder of the 600 people there how many are staffers in the Republican Party? I wonder how many or family members of employees of FOX NEWS?

    I am guessing maybe 99% is the answer for my two questions above.

    February 5, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Kevin

    Okay Tea Party people, I don't think there is anyone out there that does not want fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, states' rights and national security. But lets be specific.

    What is your specific definition of "Fiscal Responsibility"? Lower taxes? At what cost? Do you have a plan? Have any of you really thought about this? You can't just say, "Lower Taxes" and have anyone take you seriously unless you have specific plans. What gets cut?

    What do you mean when you say, "States' rights"?

    What do you mean when you say "National Security?" Tough to have lower taxes when you want to beef up National Security. I'm assuming that you want it beefed up, since we already have it now.

    February 5, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. stevegee

    Washington has become what we fought a revolution against over 225 years ago – an overreaching, overtaxing, oligarchy!

    It's time to get out the chainsaw and cut Washington down to size. It won't be easy to reduce the scope of the Federal Government, but if we don't, our deficits will bankrupt the country.

    The American people want real change, not the PR BS from the last election. We are fed up with the Feds and we want our freedom and liberty back.

    February 5, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Jon

    Wow, you mean to tell me that they've set their core principles in line with what the founding fathers envisioned for America??? The nerve of those people!!

    The Tea Party movement will have a lasting effect on American politics, no matter how many times the libs like Olbermann degrade them with the now overplayed sexual reference.

    February 5, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. Total BS

    How about supporting baby killers like Brown from Mass.Also,saying no to everything that is good for this country like healthcare ! Waht a bunch of self-centered losers !!

    February 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Karl in SLC

    This is not a movement, it just a group of white people that are angry that a black man was elected president. It's a KKK rally without the robes.

    February 5, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Grundoon

    Only 600? That's not a movement. That's constipation!

    February 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Old White Virginia Female

    President Obama, don't let these rabid dogs overtake your grassroots organization. This country needs to listen to Larry Summers explain this recession, why it is different from other recessions in the past, and then grasp that the spending that has gone on in government for the last year is what has held this country together and kept it from going into a depression. It is not just Democratic tax and spend as usual. All of your professorial talents are going to be needed in the coming months to educate. I believe if this is done, the majority of this country will see the Tea Party movement for what it is, a group of holier than thou bigots with no understanding of what is going on in this country right now but thrive on name calling and demonizing.

    February 5, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Aspen Professor

    "Mark Skoda, a businessman and founder of the Memphis Tea Party, who is also serving as spokesman for the convention, refused to term this as a litmus test but said that candidates would have to adhere to the principles to be eligible for tea party fundraising and support.
    The principles include fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, states' rights and national security."

    A course in Microeconomics might benefit the fools in the Team Bag group. Fiscal responsibility and lower taxes conflict. As any student of basic accounting can tell you, cutting taxes and increasing spending as the Republicans did when they last controlled Congress creates deficits.

    And, psssst - Tea Baggers - National Security costs money. We fond that out when Bush started two wars, and did not raise taxes to cover the cost. Instead, he cut taxes and increased the deficit. Stupid is as stupid does.

    February 5, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Tea parties make me sick

    Why CHRISTIANS must engage? Amazing hypocrisy, for Christ was sent for all of us, not just the white folks. SKODA isn't a native American name, so does this guy realize he's forming the platform on which he will be railroaded OUT of this country? This is a blatant attempt to re-segregationize our country, return Jim Crow laws, gender, age and racial discrimination, and remove all people of color from the table. Tea party my backside...this is the KKK and their group at work. And NO devout follower of Jesus Christ would DARE to be aligned with such evil, for it flies in the face of all our Savior taught us.

    Tea partiers, get a clue. This is NOT how Christ wants His people to act, and you are doing major damage to Jesus' name with this type of evil. REPENT!

    February 5, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Beth

    Who cares about their litmus test? And I don't consider 600 attendees a sell-out crowd--far from it!!

    February 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Government FOR the people

    Sounds like a great idea. I wish that the Ds and Rs would put together some basic principles - and honestly try to live by them.

    Over the past 12 months, I've heard so many speeches that say one thing, then watch actions that do another.

    February 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. D.U.T.C.H.

    I can't do nothing but sit back and laugh. The Tea Party is marginilizing republicans. They are going to push moderate republicans away from their movement and ultimately destroy the republican party as a whole. I saw this coming a mile away.

    Here are three things I possibly see happening:

    -moderate republicans will be left on their own to represent the republican party

    -moderate republicans will join the Tea Party movement and ultimately disagree with their platform on some issues because they are extreme right wing views

    -moderate republicans will turn Democrat

    February 5, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Steve, Philadelphia

    "sell-out crowd of around 600 attendees" What did they do, hold the thing in a K of C hall?

    February 5, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Stacey

    What have these people actually done besides a few rallys? It's a lot harder to actually govern than it is it get a bunch of rich white, racist people to protest. It's a coservative Christian movement, which is fine, but they should stop pretending to represent anyone else.

    February 5, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. republicans hate america

    nothing like a gathering of ignorant christian inbreeds to get your hateful day going

    February 5, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Stephen

    There is nothing Christian about the attitudes and language used by some of these Tea Party types.

    February 5, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. GI Joe

    More purification - you folks that like that kind of stuff are giving up freedom of thought and speech. It isn't being taken away by the government, it's being dictated by bigots that are hate-filled and work for corporations and wall street.

    February 5, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. PEACE ON EARTH

    I truly feel sorry for these folks.

    They don't realize that this IS the 'end of days' for THEM.

    They soooo too hateful and bigoted that Mother Earth will have to cleanse herself from these EVIL excuses for human-beings.

    I am so looking forward to their demise in December 2012. Since they think it will be DOOMSDAY.

    The Tea Baggers are the ones that WILL BRING ON the NEXT ATTACK on America. They are giving the REST OF THE COUNTRY A BAD NAME, in the eyes of the WORLD..

    February 5, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. james Miller

    Perfect---- he needs to be their candidate in 2012. With his old connections, I`m sure then they will have adequate corporate/ lobbiest funds.

    February 5, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Dean

    Lets see Questions are 1 Do you watch fox news 2. do you worship Rush Lindbaugh 3. do you hate this country.....etc

    February 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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