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. Jesus was a Socialist

    I'd rather be a socialist than a racist right-wing extremist-President-hating anti-middle class civil rights destroying uneducated toothless hick backwoods in-bred irrational emotional derelict without-health coverage broke family with no future, who lets GOP politicians and Fixed News retards run their lives and tell them what the truth is!

    I am a Christian and the God I know does not exhibit the poor judgement and bad behavior that the Tea Party crowd does.

    Wake up you stoopid fools. You are pathetic excuses for the human race. No wonder the entire world looks at the U.S. and shakes their heads in bewilderment. The U.S. does not even take care of its own citizens when they are unable to help themselves. God bless socialism.

    February 5, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Stephon

    It's all just fear, hate, and politics. The tea party idiots are not worried about socialism they are worried about losing control of the country. Something they has held onto for so long. They thought they could control him like they did bush but when they found out they could not and he was not afraid to face them and do what he needed to do. As far as these conservative who are just playing political games with our country is sick.

    February 5, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    to: Sue @ 5:07... Do you really? Can you actually mean? Are you saying?...oh, forget it. Look at me (and the majority of other posters here) trying to respond rationally and calmly to someone who is obviously one taco short of a combo plate, who will never, never, never listen to reason.. Sad, sad, little woman....

    February 5, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. Mark G

    Sue, just because we voted for Obama and didn't agree with you does not make us uneducated, or blind to the issues at hand.

    Your comments are an insult to many americans and totally disregard what this country was founded on.

    February 5, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Amazed

    Sue – Next time Halley's comet passes by, you and the rest of baggers should jump on it. It has a shield that stops non-christians and other races. It goes non-stop to heaven. You might know this already as you seem to be well rounded redneck.

    February 5, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. P. D.

    What a group of sheeple. They are an embarrassment to this Country.

    February 5, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  7. Albert R., L.A., CA

    I am a white man very concerned by some of my people behaving badly. The TEA Party began with tantrums and racist posters at town halls but now in Nashville Tennessee, 75 miles from the birth place of the K.K.K., in Pilaski, Tom Tancredo sounds like the grand dragon himself inciting a his group of Tantruming Elitist Anglos (TEA) to a declare a revolution.

    February 5, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. JonDie

    Long live the GOP! Long live the Tea Party! Long live anarchy! Let's try to live just like we did in the mid-1700s. Boy does that make sense.

    February 5, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. from the middle

    I had relatives that fought in the American Revolution. By Tancredo's standards, he has no birthright or lineage because his lazy ancestors were sitting on their rumps in Socialist Europe instead of being here doing the heavy lifting!

    February 5, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. Helath Care for all

    It is shameful to see the tea party members along with GOP lawmakers and supporters want to deprive the citizens of this country from having the basic fundamental privilege of health care.

    Even the most poorest of the nations on the face of this earth makes health care a top priority for its people.

    February 5, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. JonDie

    I heard a Tea Party leader said on the radio today that the Senate needs 40 more Scott Browns. Which means the Tea Party supports abortion rights and gay rights. So how come the media doesn't actually report on this? How much is the Tea Party paying you media folks to spread their message of lies?

    February 5, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    While the frothing Tea-baggers were generally giddy over Tancredo's hate speech, the majority of them were really looking forward to the complimentary head-shavings and pair of Doc Marten boots, and the evening fireside reading of "Mein Kampf".

    February 5, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Tired

    Right on "LacrosseMom". All the parallels are there. Scary.

    February 5, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. carlos

    and now, we find out that todd palin was running the alaska governor`s office.not the failed governor.......T baggers are the nincompoops of america.......too big a word for you?....try CLOT

    February 5, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @Tram, "The intelligent people reclaimed the country and voted for Barack Obama BECAUSE they were intelligent people.

    95% of blacks and 67% of Hispanics voted for Obama. 55% of whites voted for McCain. Average IQ's by race: Black 85, Hispanic 87, white 100. So it looks to me that those with higher IQ's voted for McCain. Oh, and for those who didn't graduate high school, 63% voted for Obama.

    February 5, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. mk, Indiana

    If we had a convention while W was in office and openly and publically bashed him ( as we should have) the GOP would have arrested us all and tried us for treason. Actually, I think we should that now.

    February 5, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. Jon

    Unlike those liberal elites who are highly educated and as a matter of fact got into Harvard with Affirmative Action Policy, I am an uneducated commonsense American. Even though Obama may not be an "authetic" socialist, he at least ardently promotes and practises socialist policies by sharing the wealth around. Just check what he has been doing during last 13 months, if you don't believe.

    February 5, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. Lisa P

    Isn't nice, though, to find out that the Tea Baggers are listening to their critics? Now they go out of their way to assert that they do indeed know what Socialism is... before proving that they don't ;-)

    February 5, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. mary

    CNN please don't give these people time on your program.
    They are uneducated and hateful so we don't need to know what they are up to. If you don't show them they will slowly go away.
    They should concentrate on getting this country back to normal and quit listening to people like Sarah Palin and Tancredo. All they get out of this is a fat check at these poor peoples expense.

    February 5, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Angie in PA

    These people are dangerous political TERRIOST! Homeland Security would be wise to keep an eye on these Mental cases They are scary no telling what they might do!

    February 5, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Pragmatic

    Notice that this is a failed politician talking ... he lost his own elections – followed by a former governor who bailed on her elected position ... failures all.

    Go ahead: insult the majority of Americans ... its called and election – its constitutional – and the republicans lost! Now these failures think they can judge who are "real Americans" and who are not! That's not my America!

    February 5, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Lou

    After that speech, I don't see how any rational person could say with a straight face that the Tea Party movement is not a haven for racists.

    February 5, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. H R Mickelson

    LacrosseMom, Thank you for your post. I have been trying to show that the GOP right wing element has many of the same thoughts and convictions that formed the Nazi party. CNN has seen fit to eliminate those posts from the message board. These ultra conservatives are very dangerous people. More should be done to show the similarities between the GOP right wing conservatives and the philosophy of the Nazi party. Every comment and demand from this group of people should be compared and exposed to the party that destroyed Germany. One good thing, if this group does take over the GOP, the independents should flee for their lives at the next election.

    February 5, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Perecorp

    Thank goodness women can still abort their unborn children. Preserves my hope that new idiots such as these Tea Baggers will never be born. Dems and Palin haters...take your guns to the public events in Arizona where it is legal.

    February 5, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. sara

    Dispicable. KKK without the HOODS....and CNN reports this garbage!

    February 5, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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