February 5th, 2010
04:21 PM ET
4 years ago

Tea Party Convention organizer says Tancredo gave fantastic speech

The National Tea Party Convention kicked off Thursday night.
The National Tea Party Convention kicked off Thursday night.

Nashville, Tennessee (CNN) – The organizer of the Tea Party Convention says he agrees with Tom Tancredo's description of President Barack Obama as a socialist.

The former congressman from Colorado and 2008 Republican presidential candidate blasted President Obama, saying "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."

Tancredo made his comments Thursday night as he gave the kickoff speech for the convention, which is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

Judson Phillips, a Tennessee lawyer who formed Tea Party Nation and who organized what's being billed as the first national Tea Party Convention, told reporters Friday that "Tom Tancredo gave a fantastic speech last night. I think he is an amazing politician."

Asked if he agrees with Tancredo's description of Obama, Phillips said "the word socialist is a word you don't want to be labeled with in the American Political system. It's got a lot of negative connotations, but it also has a very specific political meaning. It refers to a specific political ideology. I think it is very clear that that is the political ideology of Barack Obama."

Phillips added that he thinks "Tancredo doesn't feel like a lot of people who supported Barack Obama understand the basics of this country."

In his speech, Tancredo also slammed the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, saying "thank God John McCain lost the election.

Phillips agreed, adding, "I think a McCain presidency would have been far worse that Bush one or Bush two. I think it would have been a total disaster. I think we would have gotten the worst of what we are getting in the Obama administration and really nothing positive from what would have been allegedly be a conservative party, or allegedly be a conservative leader."

Phillips also announced that he will hold another Tea Party convention in July. He declined to name a location for the event.

The other major news to come out of Friday's news conference: some of the organizers are forming a tax-exempt non-profit corporation called the Ensuring Liberty Corporation and a soon to be established affiliated political action committee.

Mark Skoda, a businessman and founder of the Memphis Tea Party, who is also serving as spokesman for the convention, says the formation of the corporation and the PAC is a way that the Tea Party movement can participate in politics and termed it "a conservative effort in support of candidates."

Skoda predicted this would be an outlet for people who took part in Tea Party protests to get involved in campaign politics. He listed six congressional races in the Southeast where endorsements may be made.

Along with the corporation and PAC, Skoda announced that candidates seeking backing would need to agree with a list of "First Principles": fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, less government, states' rights and national security. He said he did not consider the "First Principles" a litmus test for candidates.

Skoda also said he does not support a third party movement.

– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Tea Party Convention • Tom Tancredo
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Chuck

    I wouldn't trust "president" O to run a lemonade stand. My daughter, who sells homemade jewelry and cards at a local farmers market, has more experience running a business and coming up with a budget, than he does!

    What's the fastest way to move the nation toward socialism (for the dumbocrats, that means government-owned operations)? It's taking over health-care, which accounts for over 20 percent of GNP. Do any of you know what GNP is?

    Taking over health-care means one-fifth of the national economy is nationalized. Next, banks and automobile companies.

    President "O" is the biggest spender in the history of the world. His deficits will be the biggest in history.

    The TEA party participants don't agree with anything he is doing. It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with political and moral views and beliefs. Count me in as a supporter of government restraint, getting out of the hair of private businesses, and not reaching into my pocket to steal money to give to others who didn't earn it or create the income like I did!

    February 5, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. How that hope and change working out?

    You libs are really pathetic and laughable. Question??? Why do you libs spew your childish hate filled words about Americans expressing their opinions that happen to be different then yours? The Tea Party, whether you agree with the politics of their position or not, is a clear demonstration of the greatness of the this country and for the Freedom of Speech...
    Would you rather we treat the Tea Party Protesters as Iran is treating their opposition?
    It is so obvious that libs are so short on substance that insults is all that spews... Keep it up, it just shows your true ignorance and defective thought processes.
    I have an idea for you.... Blame it on Bush!!!

    February 5, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Lee Bartholomew

    Say if they don't want socialized medicine, do they have a right to access medicare, medicaid, VA benefits , social security and the Postal Service?? (oh wait that last one isn't health care)

    February 5, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. splat!~

    Wasn't the keynote speaker for this hatefest the other half of McCains ticket?~

    February 5, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Robert

    "Phillips added that he thinks "Tancredo doesn't feel like a lot of people who supported Barack Obama understand the basics of this country."

    LOL... How totally arrogant.. Thank God this nation has HIM to explain the basics to us...

    February 5, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Mickey

    These people are real moonbats!

    February 5, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. We the People....

    Right on Sue...

    As far as education goes in this country, the citizens of this country are not educated regarding our country and its founding. They get a watered down version of what the government wants them to have. Take a look at the textbooks lately?

    Well... there are some folks out there who are re-educating themselves and finding out about the real foundation of this country and that there are people who are out to destroy it.

    Start reading folks, start asking questions, stand up for your democracy....

    February 5, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Jon from Madison

    Racist????? I am African-American, and also a TEA party supporter. How do you idiot liberals explain that? You cant keep pulling the race card. The truth is that I find Mr. Obama to be a disgrace to my entire race. I can't believe that he was the 1 that was chosen to be the first African American president. Why couldn't it have been Alan Keyes?

    February 5, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Socialism: An economic system in which the government owns and operates basic industries but individuals own most businesses.

    That's the true definition of Socialism, just so people could be clear on its meaning.

    But I will say that as a young voter and a kid who got into the political system based on a belief and a change, I will say that I know more politics than an average kid my age, let alone someone who may be a bit older than moi. And I know my systems, very well. Just wanted to throw it in there.

    I'm smart, very smart...but devilishly smart, I admit cause some networks don't want me(I know, is funny...they don't wanna see me in court later) but that don't mean I'm slow or dumb, I love my country very dearly. And I couldn't be happier to say that I know more politics than arguably any of you(or Tea Party members) were that young before. They wish they were me.

    That's what I'll say about this young kid, sexy kid. And I was raised in a conservative household but I ain't stupid, I may be disappointed at our Pres and upset, but that don't mean I'm dumb enough to think I don't belong in the political spectrum.

    Right guys? LOL!!! :)

    February 5, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  10. Larry

    As a Canadian who watches CNN everyday or other American networks other than Fox, all I can say is your nation is in such a state of dissaray that it is hard to witness what goes on in your country anymore ! Are people so blind to the fact that one man, one President is not capable of turning around your country unless he gets support from both parties ? Unfortunately he has been vilified by the right and the Libertarian racist Tea Party from the get go, and his Democrats are coming cross and self serving so he will accomplish nothing. Not one Republican will support any initiative since it will legitimize his role. Where are the moderates, centrists, progressives to counter the vocal right ? America is falling behind the world in many ways and we look on in bewilderment.

    February 5, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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