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. Otto

    A group of sick people. Sick mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually and perhaps physically. Esta Loco Un Lacabasa!

    February 5, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    That accounts for those tea baggers who couldn't affiord the $500 steak and lobster dinner at a 5 Star hotel who can't spell the word vote either. That's how the tea baggers weeded them out the $500 dinner and will pick them up again to carry their derogatory messages in the street and raise money to pay their speakers up to $100,000.

    February 5, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. special kay

    Biggest crock ever!!!!

    February 5, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Sue

    Tom Tancredo is 100% right.............

    There were a lot of illegals who voted in our elections-and they continue to do so. They were/are encouraged/assisted in doing so by ACORN, SEIU and the Democratic politicians themselves. This is why Democrats try to stop all efforts at requiring photo ID/proof of citizenship requirements when voting.

    Also, the majority of voters who voted for Obama--were uneducated regarding the issues and candidates. Part of the blame for this--is the majority of the media.

    In addition.........Obama is a socialist.......And, he is trying to transform our economy/country into one of European socialism.

    February 5, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Average American

    Let's be clear, tea party goers can no longer get upset when we call them out as the racists they are. If you support this cause, you support blatantly racist statements made by Mr. Tancredo.

    I can spell V O T E, and in the next election I will V O T E for Barack Hussein Obama!!!!!

    February 5, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  6. Duck Fallas

    Psychotic paranoid freaks, all of them.

    February 5, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Nancy Youngwirth

    What a sick bunch of people, working in the Health Care for 35
    years and I have to listen to such ignorant people, who think
    Health Care is FREE- Get a clue and go work for a Doctor for
    just one week and you will learn WHAT Obama is trying to do.

    The ones who complain in our office over co pays are you
    people---- I hope all of you get sick and they cancel your
    insurance, don't think it isn't happening NOW- not because the
    premiums aren't paid, just because the INSURANCE companies
    can- stupid people- learn something

    February 5, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. John

    Tancredo is such a joke

    February 5, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  9. Tram

    What planet are these "people" from?

    February 5, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. johnrj08

    The people in the Tea Party movement have an over-simplified view of the problems facing this country, and they think that their simplistic solutions would actually work. Not having any awareness of their own intellectual limitations, they sincerely believe that they can come up with better solutions than the President, and have no clue what the ramifications of their ideas would be. This is what happens when your thinking is driven by ideology rather than pragmatism.

    February 5, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Prospero

    There would appear to be a typographical error in your report – the non-profit corporation is actually the Enduring Lunacy Corporation. Long may they bloviate and confabulate!

    February 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Brenda in Detroit

    These people are wackos. Plain & simple. No socialized medicine? What do they think Medicare is? Idiots.

    February 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  13. Tram

    You know what really surprises me? So many GOPers think that the people who voted for Obama were uneducated or influenced by the media. That's a laugh! If anyone was uneducated and hoodwinked, it's the ones who blindly followed Bush and Company and still do. They helped destroy this country by their blatant disregard for the rule of law and practices set down by the Constitution.

    The intelligent people reclaimed the country and voted for Barack Obama BECAUSE they were intelligent people.

    February 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. jfs Memhis, Tn

    These folks DO NOT represent conservatives. If they did???? Where's Sen. Brown. or the New Govenors of Va, and New Jeresy ??? Fact is, those polticians will come and VISIT ONLY during an election cycle...they WILL NOT support all of these aggressive splinter groups. We Moderate Reoublicans have not had a home since Bush One and unless the GOP gets a clue Obama and the Dems will continue to win.

    February 5, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. Finally!

    Finally we get to see these people for what they truly are:

    Rich people who are sheep-herding poverty stricken people into believing that providing the poor with equal opportunities and options is socialism.

    Everyone needs to give Obama a CHANCE. We put him in office to fight powers that are omnipotent in this country. That's not an easy job folks, and it CANNOT BE DONE OVERNIGHT. So please, PLEASE! be patient and give the man a chance. If you support him, his job will be easier to do.

    February 5, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Jeff of Peoria

    Why are we racists?? I just don't get it. I'm sure there are a few but to call us all racists is inaccuarte because there are a lot of people that aren't white.

    it's the same old thing – If we don't like Obama, we must be racists.

    ...and the biggest CROCK EVER – CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN!!!

    February 5, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. Jamie from Riverside

    What more can you say about the Tea Baggers beyond that they're all a bunch of crazed weirdos. They scream about fiscal conservatism and yet they're charging more than 6 hunderd dollars each for a ticket to this circus and then turn around and pay off Sarah Palin $100,000. to appear as their keynote speaker....I buy it.

    February 5, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Cosmo

    The level of ignorance of both the leader of this delusional movement and the Keynote speaker at their mass meeting, is almost beyond comprehension. Keep on reporting the comments and positions of these people so that he American people can clearly see and understand how bizarre and uniformed these people are and just who they represent and serve. Dick Armey's Freedom Works and the GOP dirty tricks squad better take another look at how this garbage is playing with anyone with an IQ greater than two standard deviations below the norm. America will not be SWIFTBOATED again boys.

    February 5, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Sean from Marin

    Keep talking tea party people. The more America hear's what you believe the less America will want to hear what you believe. I sincerely hope your voice will carry deep into the fall elections because it's your crowd, not the liberals, who will assure that both houses of congress stay moderate left.

    The Republicans now have two wings of the party: The just say NO" crowd and the "just say NO CLUE" crowd.

    February 5, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. Marc

    Tom Tancredo thinks that only those who thinks like him and votes like him are REAL DEAL AMERICANS. The law says otherwise.
    The law says that when there's an election (except in the President's election) the guy or gal with the biggest number of votes wins the election. That's called democracy.
    Sometimes it works and sometimes not, but there are mechanisms that allow that 'mistakes' and 'errors' of the process doesn't last forever.
    NONE of those mechanism is name-calling, hollier/better-than-thou attitude towards those who disagree with you and brainless (and easily rebuked with the Truth and facts) arguments about the 'other side'.

    February 5, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    First and foremost, the Tean Party is not the solution.

    We need to GROW the economy by investing 500 billion into green energy, to spur and fuel millions of jobs.....

    February 5, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. ICARE - countdown to 2011

    At this point in time, only Nobel Prize economists can fix the economy. Everybody else needs to shut up

    February 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  23. mario

    Sick and moron

    February 5, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. CAW in MD

    @Sue,

    Tom Tancredo apparently doesn't know what the word socialist means, and apparently neither do you. So who exactly is uneducated?

    Can you sustantiate your claim that "a lot" of illegals voted in the last election? Can you further substantiate that these illegals actually voted in a majority for Obama? If you can't, then you are just throwing garbage out there to see what sticks. So who exactly is uneducated?

    Bring facts to the game, or stop playing - you're just embarassing yourself.

    February 5, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  25. Anni

    I am more afraid of these people than I am of a socialist President. These people are in dire need of mental health assistance.

    February 5, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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