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. j

    The teabaggers reminds me of the so-called "moral majority". That group was just as worthless, stirred up more problems than solved, and otherwise created were a general nuisance.

    Some of the happiest countries in the world have elements of socialism in their governments. The government offers the citizens a lot of services and it all works out fairly well. The people in this country that seem the most opposed are also the people that would benefit the most from the reforms that the Progressives are proposing. It's a darn shame that their too ignorant to understand that fact.

    February 5, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    I have to be honest. I'm a little baffled at this whole "tea party" movement. I can understand the outrage. Our country is in trouble. I can't understand the logic, or lack of it, behind their movement.

    President Obama is a Marxist Facist Socialist Communist Nazi Muslim foreigner who is taking their country away. He's a moderate Democrat for crying out loud. And didn't they notice how close we came to tyranny under Bush & Cheney. Where was the outrage then?

    Where was the outrage when Bush bailed out the banks (yes, folks, he did it) with Paulson (from Goldman Sachs) at the reins, to the tune of 23T dollars, not just the 700B tarp? Deregulate, deregulate, deregulate was their mantra. How did that work out for y'all? Yet Repubicans and tea partiers are still fighting for that right? Has the world gone mad?

    Liberal is a dirty word. Excuse me, but the last time I checked this is America and we could disagree with each other's political positions without being considered the evil terroristic enemy. No?

    Insurance profits increased 400% during the 8 years of Bush's reign of terror. It was ok then, and apparently is still ok now? What happens when we all go broke, including Medicare? Or better yet, if the Republicans regain control and privatize it, along with social security? Is anyone thinking with the brains God gave them?

    Corporate sponsored tea partiers got on corporate sponsored buses to yell no government health care, or Obamacare, but don't take away my Medicare (a government health care plan). Do they know what they're even saying. And did these corporations put these people up and feed them too. When you find companies spending 1.4M a day to fight regulation, what do you supposed is happening? They don't want to lose their profits, that's what.

    I'm just baffled. This "tea party" movement is scarily reminiscent of what happened during a severe economic downturn in Germany before Nazis came into power. And there were so many people who went along with that program. Scary stuff, folks.

    February 5, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Corporate Fascists have taken over our country

    How far do they think they will get before they are Squashed by the corporate Fascists that control both parties.The left is just waking up to the fact they need their own tea party,but its already too late,the supreme court decision made sure of that.

    February 5, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Linda from Minnesota

    Looking at these people, all older, all white – how sad for them that they cannot, will not accept that this country has already changed. They need to embrace change rather than fight to get "their" country back. Its everyone's country – not just theirs.

    February 5, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. cynt

    Oh boy I see this movement moving right out the door. This is no movement this is a bunch of ignorant, loud mouth hate driven morons getting together to bash the President and his adminstration. I about a year we will be saying , the tea who?????? LOL

    February 5, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Once upon a time in Germany, there was a group of very angry people. They loved their homeland more than anyone, saw anyone who did not agree with them as anti-German, unpatriotic, and dangerous. They hated Gays, foreigners, any one "different" from them. This group was called, Nazis. They were conservatives, wanted to rid Germany of anything that was not ......... pure..... that would "pollute" the mind.

    BEWARE America, of extremism in any form!

    February 5, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. dale

    So they sold out a high school auditorium...Woo Hoo!!

    February 5, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. george from alaska

    fruitcakes...nuff said.

    February 5, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. honest abe

    the KKK and Arian Nation goes political – how cute ! Give um hell 'TEA BAGGERS – I mean Tea Partiers' HA!

    February 5, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. mike

    Tea Party: the New KKK (Klu Klux Klan)....listen to the onening remarks etc.....Beware of the Tea Party!!!

    February 5, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Mr. Moderate

    Among the sessions scheduled for Friday ...why Christians must engage.

    Yet another example of why this is not the broad-based movement they say it is. So apparently, not only are minorities not welcome, but neither are non-Christians.

    February 5, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. leonard martell sr.

    There are a lot of people who feel the same way even thou they are not vocal about. it.
    The people have been betrayed by the elite few who want to force there agenda on the majority and only pretend to care about normal people.

    February 5, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Puzzled

    Attendance of 600 and it's national news? Stop elevating the mediocre.

    February 5, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Dean

    WOW!!! 600 people paid $550 for this "FOR" profit convention.

    February 5, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Norm

    So then the Tea Party is not really about limited government, it's about a government or country of whites, Christians, and extreme conservatives only. This group doesn't really have an identity at this point. The rallys have a mix of small government types, neo-Nazis, racists, ultra-conservative religious groups, and a smattering of independents. I've been to some and you can tell by the signs that they carry. If they are truly about limited government and are inclusive of all who believe that the best government is a limited one then they should reject the Tancredos and the Palins and the fear mongers and really develop a platform. They will get nowhere like this.

    February 5, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  16. jerseylou

    Nothing but a bunch of repubiklans trying to hoodwink the American People.

    February 5, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Dan

    Principles? Seriously, a party based on half-truths and spin is going to require their candidates meet certain principles? Can't wait for that, should be a laugh riot. Btw, where were these vaunted principles and conservative outrage when the Bush Administration was in office? Cue crickets.

    February 5, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. American Feminist

    Wow, 600 attendees! I had that many at my wedding.

    February 5, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Don J

    The first test of anyone in this group is 'do you even have a brain'. Since most of the disgruntled Repugs who are the actual members of this group and firmly back Sarah 'Paling into the Distance' the most obvious answer is that no, Most of them do NOT have a brain, this is rather abvious and why this group will soon lose the backing of the independent voter once they realize it is just more extreme conservative right wing rhetoric. What is most obvious this time is this group represents the most extreme and radical elements of the Repugs so no worry here, these are just losers that insist it has to be thier way or no way at all, truly sad but what can you say for a group that has to share one brain amongst so many?

    February 5, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    A sell out crowd of 600? I can get 600 people to a bar to see my band. How is this in any way considered a 'movement'?

    February 5, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Robert, Los Angeles

    Sell out crowd of 600!!!?? My wedding was bigger.

    February 5, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. emmett brown

    I don't see any minorites, wonder why...LOL

    February 5, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Tam

    rule #1 - no non-whites, non-"Christians" need apply

    February 5, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. androloma

    Principles to include:

    #1 More war

    #2 Borrow and spend fiscal policy

    #3 More taxes

    #4 Insult the left in the hopes somebody somewhere will be impressed

    #5 Declare Sarah Palin a conservative saint

    February 5, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Kathy

    Another "Purity Test" from the extreme right??? Go Fascists GO!!!! :)

    February 5, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7