St. George, Utah (CNN) – Supporters of the Tea Party movement said Monday that critics have unfairly portrayed them as an uneducated and inarticulate band of activists with little knowledge of politics.
Mitzi Butler, an area coordinator of the Tea Party Express Tour, chastised critics who describe her fellow grassroots activists as, "a bunch of hillbillies with no teeth, and [say] we're stupid."
"We are not stupid," she said in an interview with CNN as the tour was preparing to pull into St. George, a picturesque Utah city nestled in a valley of cliffs. "We are well versed. And I think we're smarter than what we've been sending to represent us in Congress."
The cross country political tour began this past weekend in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nevada and made stops in Arizona before heading to St. George, a city of about 65,000 people. While the Tea Party movement does not officially align itself with the Republican Party, it champions similar goals: less government, less taxes and the defeat of Democrats, such as Reid, in November.
"We want to get our message out to all of America," said Tiffiny Ruegner, director of Field Operations for Our Country Deserves Better PAC, which is overseeing the tour.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was the headliner Saturday in Reid's hometown, where she decried big government and criticized the initiatives being promoted by President Obama and the congressional Democrats. Ruegner echoed Palin's theme about the expansion of government and said that it is becoming far more intrusive in people's lives. Specifically, Ruegner said she was worried about what the future held for her 8-year-old son.
"I want him to grow up in the same country I grew up in," she said. "And I feel like it's slipping away."
The cross country tour ends in Washington on April 15, the deadline for people to file their taxes.
The word "lemmings" immediately comes to mind.
Lemmings - as in the Pied Piper story.
Tea party calls our government socialist. I wonder how many of them collect Social Security and are on Medicare? If they are so worried about socialism stop taking government tax dollars!!! Actually they are pawns for the GOP to get back in office. We sure don't need another 8 years of that.
If she's really worried about losing personal liberties, I would be interested to see how she protested when the Republicans were ramming through the Patriot Act.
we aren't stupid. we want our country back from all the wetbacks and negroes. obama is a fascist socialist racist. beck proved it again today. we aren't stupid. we have all of our teeth.
How bright can they be if they think Sarah Palin is the answer?
If you weren't a bunch of uneducated, inarticulate, toothless, stupid hillbillies you would have come up with a more original name for your movement than "Tea Party".
sarah said we should take our country back. she must want us to ship all those colored people back to where they came from and then we can keep it safe for my 8 year old son. what about the priests, you say? yeah, that's a problem. but that was what our country was like before and we want that country back. sarah must be an intellectual. she is on fox and is getting a nature show for hollywood. oh no, that means sarah is getting paid by hollywood. how can she still be one of us now? oh dear.
Not stupid? Hmmmm, have you seen the spelling on those signs they've been carrying? ( "infromation" "anmesty" "moran" are some recent gems)
"We are well versed. ..." said a Tea Party member. Yeh, but only in Bible verses probably. As for smarter than their elected representatives, well if so then you run for office and get elected and do something instead of just complaining and name calling. Then we'll see who's smart or not.
"uneducated and inarticulate band of activists with little knowledge of politics" – this is exactly who tea part thugs are – stupid brainless idiots pandering to the GOP folksy nutters like Palin
Well, Mitzi, if you were as "well versed" as you say you are, you wouldn't have Sarah Palin speaking for you... Sorry, but her use of words like "reload" in her twitter posting aren't making you any friends.
You want less government? Focus on something useful, like having the Patriot Act repealed. The PA is the single most liberty compromising act of law passed by the Federal government ever.
Quit being a forum for those who simply see Barack Obama as a focus for their racial prejudices.
Educate your followers on how government REALLY works. The 3 branches, the "checks and balances" system. Educate people about how important it is to vote.
Right now, I think most people just see you folks as just another angry mob with no idea of what you would do if you were able to "take back the country"...
She's be a lot more persuasive if interviews with Tea Party members didn't reveal such profound ignorance about the reality of taxes and the health care bill. Listening to Fox can be toxic to your mental health AND your knowledge.
That's a red herring; I don't think they're stupid, just crazy.
Saying your smarter then the people in congress, isn't really saying much about how much you have in the brains department.
When the Tea Party has a $500 a plate dinner and their people can't afford the dinner or the air fare to attend, I don't think that's stupid, that's being used.
That's the new attack phrase from liberals
describing conservatives for the last couple
of years. Can't beat us with facts so they make up
stuff. The sad part is the lying after a time begins
to work. Liberal drop outs in Hollwood had
people believing Condi Rice wasn't
smart about world affairs. She has three degrees
and knows the families of world leaders.
Desperate people use desperate measures
when they go on the attack. Liberals are
desperate people who thrive on misinformation.
All I can say is that you can't be to swift if you pay the likes of Sarah Palin to speak at you conventions. As you know you are judged by the company you keep.
Bunch of FOOLS with nothing else to do!!!!!!!!!
Miss Tiffini, the country you grew up in isn't just slipping away, it's gone - and mercifully so.
Today, the US is increasingly diverse and well educated. Men and women of all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds (and nobelievers) and orientations are staking a claim to the American dream of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," including access to education, dependable and affordable healthcare, and a better life for their children.
"We the people" voted for change in 2008, and elected a forward-looking, intelligent President to lead us into the future. If you're looking for the past, go to a museum.
"I want him to grow up in the same country I grew up in," she said. "And I feel like it's slipping away." If she is not teaching her son that the only constant in our lives is change, she is doing him a disservice. She needs him to teach him to live and lead in a changing society or she is crippling his ability to be a productive citizen.
I think most Tea Party activists are smarter.... than Palin.
There's nothing defensible about the TEA party whatsoever. Where were you from 2000-2006? You call yourself a diverse party - I only see old and middle-aged white people (who apparently have no jobs?).
If the shoe fits....
What else would you expect? You expect a lunatic to say "you know what, you are right and I am sorry"?? No, they will just scream in your face the same discredited thing they have been saying until the stroke out.