February 5th, 2010
10:35 AM ET
5 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. c spurgeon

    Go ahead and give your money away and I know a lot of politicians and wannabes will certainly lie to get it. Why don't you work for something constructive like term limits for Congress. That way every six years they would have to find a real job and we wouldn't be stascking up those monumental benefits like they have now. Who do you think is paying for that? That money could be redirected to deficit and social security for all.The presidential term should be six years also and that way we wouldn't lose two years of campaigning....lTerm Limits are the answer. Cmon Tea Party get constructive.

    February 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. White Supremacy is Alive in Nashville

    I hope after hearing what Tancredo's message was to open the festivities in Nashville, the rest of America will see what many of us already know. These teabaggers are nothing but a bunch of racist. They might as well be wearing KKK garb and burning crosses.

    Disgusting and shameful. These idiots make me embarrassed to be an American.

    February 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Roy

    I have a name for the Tea Party so it is "The Evil Association" Party.

    February 5, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Sarah

    This Tea Baggers convention is a farce........it is a bunch of Radical, Racist, right wing conservative that are trying to tear apart the Republican party......they either tell you to think and vote the way thely tell you too or you can't be in their party....... this man sounds like an even further out right wing nutcase than most......this convention will distroy this movement.......and Palin right along with it.......most of the more common sense republicans have already backed away from this convention........and the Tea Baggers, Club for Growth, and the other far out groups.

    February 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. jeff

    More racist jerks heard from."Were white and angry,can't we get rid of these minorities that are ruining our country!!!"

    February 5, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. katiec

    600 attendees who could afford $600 fee.
    This is not a grass roots organization. It is sad that so many
    do not realize they are being manipulated by right wing billionaires
    whose only goals are to destroy democracy, support big business
    and resort to sewer tactics to fight against the survival of our
    country.
    Sure, there are things to protest, but these people are being blindly led by self serving hypocrits.

    February 5, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    History is repeating itself...remember the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party before World War II. The hateful speeches and fear mongering slogans are frightenly similar.

    February 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. John, Brooklyn, NY

    With the notion that tea baggers will never endorse a Democrat...then, in principle, we are seeing the beginning of the ideological cleansing of the Republican Party! Let the internal blood bath begin!

    February 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Doesn't sound like a "litmus test" to me, which usually means a single issue upon which a candidate is judged. Sounds more like a statement of principles - whether you agree with them or not, an entirely different concept.

    February 5, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. CR

    America can do without this kind of bigotry. Bunch of hate-spewing misfits.

    February 5, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. james Miller

    The top 1% are funding these people as THEIR prosperity during the Bush tax cut era far exceeded the rest of us-- And now, plainly evidant--at everyone else`s expense.

    February 5, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Bette

    So the fictiticious "Obama youth brigades" the ultra conservatives have been screaming about are dangerous but the Tea Party's "involving youth in their conservative movement" isn't supposed to scare me? Give me a break. And, once again the song and dance that if you're not a Christian then you're not to be trusted and couldn't possibly be a loyal, patriotic American who loves this country. I'm a registered Republican and a Christian but I also know there are many people of other faiths in this country who are loyal, patriotic Americans too. Religion is a private, personal matter, not a governmental function. I share some of the same concerns as those involved in the Tea Party movement, but hateful, mean spirited tactics and rhetoric will not get the job done.

    February 5, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. kennyjb

    it appears the Tea Party is an extreme far right movement. I can't identify with them. I don't care, far right or far left your one of the same. Two extreme view that can't accomplish anything. Give it ten years, these same people will strap bombs to themselves and blow up federal buildings. It's the beginning of something ugly, and will lead to blood shed. A country can't wage war against itself. That can only lead to failure all around. We need more moderates and a spirit of cooperation. Ask Mr. Tancredo, "how does he solve issues at home". How does he resolve issues with his wife? I'm sure he doesn't beat his fist and call it settled. No he uses careful words and cooperation. I may not agree with the president on all things, but i respect the office of the presidency. I respect our laws and system of justice. let us all do the same

    February 5, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Bob

    Lower taxes, states rights, national security. Lets see---lower taxes and national security. That is exactly how we got to this place in the U S > Two wars unfunded. Wars on borrowed money. How stupid are these people. Take back the country from what?? The Bush, Chaney , lies before war,, or the bill by the Republicans,, and signed by Bush,, to collect DNA from all new born"s and placed in a national data base... Big Brother anyone???

    February 5, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Frank

    I am a Chrisitian. I will never get involved with the Tea Party Movement. I think they are a dangerous group of people with Klu Klux Klan style tactics. Some of the signs I see them carrying is a blatent violation of the Biblical Christianity and my faith. They spue hate, and racism and an agenda that is anti-minority. When you see them televised, I see no blacks, no hispanics, no asians, no native americans (who by the way were trampled upon by Europeans). They are the true natives of America not tea partiers. Be aware, there is something sinister about this group of angry white people society.

    February 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. R in Maine

    These people are not patriots, they are bigoted, racist, sexist extremists. They are unworthy of attention or honor. They are dangerous.

    February 5, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. WAKE UPPPP!!!!!!

    To begin with, I align myself with some of the main views of Libertarians and the Green Party. I consider myself a Green Party Libertarian. As A Black Woman I am tired of Democrats crying foul with the race card and I am tired of Republicans using racial undertones to curry favor with fractions of its party as evidenced by Tea Partiers and either elected and non elected officials and then either disavowing or backpeddling, TARNISHING the good name of the TEA PARTY . I was excited about the Tea Party as a third party until it was taken over by the Republican Party and has now become one of Americas Nightmares! Americans need to wake up and stop falling for divisive issues and realize that we are ALL in this together!

    If I may boldly explain the system in layman’s terms; The Senators who work for the Government act as PIMPS and the American people who are told by their PIMPS everything they want to hear and continue being brainwashed rally and support their PIMP by voting them into office! By voting them in, you continually fork over your hard earned dollars to feed and support them, drug habits and sometimes mistresses...How about that Sanford and Edwards! You see America until we realize that neither Democrats nor Republicans work FOR THE PEOPLE.... we will continue on a downward spiral. Issues like abortion, gays in the military, healthcare, and religion are just mere smokescreens for the real issue at hand: THE DEFICIT. I'm more afraid of China and their percentage of ownership of this country. If you foreclose on a home, it’s seized by the bank Right? Well what happens if we can’t pay our debt back? GET THE PICTURE! So unless we come together regardless of race, religion or class....we are screwed.

    February 5, 2010 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Terry - Indiana

    Well, NASCAR better have a booth at the Tea Party Convention, because it is redneck country in Nashville. Tom Tancredo opened with the following remarks: "people who could not even spell the word 'vote', or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama." Yup, the Tea Party speaks for the Republican Party.

    February 5, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. samuel agnew

    sick people, saying sick things, rotten to the core.

    February 5, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. jeff in sf

    Why pay any attention to a money-making event attended by only 600 people?

    February 5, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Those principles are not enough. There must be real and defined approaches to putting the US back on a solvent basis. There must be real and defined solutions to creating and keeping jobs in the US. There must not be a religious agenda, masked as a conservative agenda.

    There must be a human rights agenda, that recognizes it is wrong to attack groups, on a religious basis.

    There needs to be a strong environmental agenda, which starts with population reduction, as the only true way to solve the planet's very serious difficulties.

    There are a lot of tough issues, and not a lot of tough issue solutions being presented. We have had enough rhetoric. We need people who have real ideas for change, and not just lip service to change.

    February 5, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Todd

    tancredo's speech said it all. Ignorant, ill informed bigots with funny hats. Socialism? Attacking the Constitution? These dopes wouldn't know the Constitution from a cantalope. How stupid do you sound using words like socilialism when you have no idea what they mean?

    February 5, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. aliou

    This whole teaparty thing is about white people wanting to rid (The "whites' " ) house of its first black President. And here is why:

    1-Tea party has not shown any remorse in the extraordinary defense budget that robs our nation blank every year, and that goes straight to the coffers of the right wing gun and defense contractors.
    They neither showed indignation when GW Bush banckupt our country in two wars and fake contracts or invoices for a war they lied to the nation to start. This is the same crowd that carries support our troops on their trucks and refuse to see any other view point, to the extend of telling everyone that has a different view they are unpatriotic.

    2-Tea party and share holder crowd pocketed the stimulus from homeowner bailout, cash for klunker big trucks, aig and multibillion bank and auto shareholder bailout. They hugged their income and homeowner tax credit bail out, medicare, medicaid, and some food stamps increases or unemployment extention. Some are smart enough to grap the grants that are floating the companies, fought tooth and nails for stimulus contracts, and secured their jobs or their companies with stimulus money.

    Yet hypocritically, they are out protesting or sponsoring protest against the government that is giving them all of that. If it makes their conscience clear from robbing the country blank, then they should go on a protest and hold conventions.

    February 5, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Devon Cloud

    I think that these guys really do not get why they are ignored. It isn't their stance on the budget.... even left-wingers like myself worry about that (not to their extent, but we all have worries about financials)... It is their anger and hatred to anything that is not just like them... In Tancredo's speach, he blasts multicultureism.. this is 2010. Racial arguments just don't fly anymore (and they shouldn't). He attacked liberals, stating we are destroying the constitution, and that people like them needed to put their "running shoes" on. He essentially declared war on anyone that is or thinks differently than they do instead of sticking to what he should have done... the Budget.

    Is there anyone out there that thinks his tactics will work? He just shot himself in both feet... alienated himself from anyone that may share his views on the budget, but not border security or anyone that has a liberal bone in their body but is a fiscal conservative. You can't win that way... and goes to show why "his side" of the fence fared so poorly in the last election.

    February 5, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. Richard in Austin

    Go, go, go, party of Timothy McVeigh. Split up the Republicans! I love it. These are the fools that think a majority of US citizens are conservatives, and want the world to be like Rush Limbaugh visualizes.

    February 5, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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