April 15th, 2010
04:48 PM ET
5 years ago

View from the 'sidekick' seat on a Tea Party bus

CNN’s Shannon Travis perched himself in the ‘sidekick’ seat of a Tea Party Express bus.
CNN’s Shannon Travis perched himself in the ‘sidekick’ seat of a Tea Party Express bus.

Washington (CNN) - It was one of those behind-the-scenes moments that a reporter covering the Tea Party rarely gets to witness.

About 1:35 a.m. Thursday, a man ran up to a Tea Party Express bus, approaching from the left, waving his arms and shouting something that none of us on the bus could understand.

I was sitting in the "sidekick seat," a leather perch near the driver with a clear view.

The three-bus caravan had just rolled into Washington, hours ahead of the final rally of the "Just Vote them Out" tour - the movement's third national event since coming together a little over a year ago. The bus I was on carried about 14 weary travelers: Tea Party leaders and activists, journalists and Casey the dog, a small girl with floppy ears belonging to Tea Party Express Chairman Mark Williams.

We had just arrived after a grueling trip from Boston, Massachusetts, where Sarah Palin rallied a crowd of thousands on Boston Common, and were blocks away from our destination.

The bus was hard to miss, wrapped full-on in a Tea Party advertisement.

Apparently, just the sight of it made the man angry. As he rushed us, shouting all the way, the bus driver cautiously slid open his window.

Full story


Filed under: Tea Party Express
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Gil

    Soar losers always make me angry too!

    April 15, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Employers who give these people time off from work while other employees who don't support the Tea Party movement are still on the job, are breaking the law. And those employees who are still on their jobs should call them out, there is no Federal Law that supports this type of absents from work with benefits.

    April 15, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Enough

    Why is the tea party getting so much press? You don't stand for hard working americans when u can afford to take off work for 3 weeks to travel the country

    April 15, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. save my state.

    I'm in a interacial marriage my wife ,and I support the Tea Party movement. We have attended several rallies,and not once have we ever heard a racial comment. Matter of fact in our area of St.Louis were confused why people would lie ,and call our rallies racist.

    April 15, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. Patsy, Texas

    This is the dumbest "commentary" I have read in a long time. Drama
    writer, NOT. So the man says we are "at war" - well, we are. and
    WHO GOT US THERE? The dog likes to blog -big deal!
    Their "hero" list sends shivers up my spine. Tell the whole story such
    as:

    The hateful rhetoric out of these "peaceble people", the
    hitler signs, the "targets", the "aiming at" certain politicians, the
    inability for them to recognize their "heroes" are the ones that got us
    in this mess. Where is George Bush on their "hero" list.
    They may have started with good intentions, but it has turned into a
    free-for-all, and this story is just pitiful. Thank you

    April 15, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Adalbert

    The Tea Party Is a creation of Richard Armey, a corrupt legislator turned paid Lobbyist, once they have served the purposes of his corporate sponsors, they will be dis-avowed. The money for bussing them to rallies and the free lunches will dry up. Fox will cease to report on them and inflate their numbers.
    During the French Revolution, Robespierre created The Terror (a mob) only to eventually be beheaded by it. A lesson in History for Richard Armey, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and that "Other Little Fat Boy" on Fox should keep in mind.

    April 15, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. REG in AZ

    I'd hate to see more bailouts; I am just not an economic expert and I simply don't know if the first bailouts really saved further financial damage or if we should have let them all go under. I do recognize that not instituting true financial reform and strong enforcement now would leave us open to the return of run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence because there are those who just won't resist the temptation and who have no conscience. The repeated cycles of the abuse significantly costing the majority and greatly benefiting the few have to stop. I also recognize a substantial effort to use subterfuge in the form of scare tactics and emotional charged appeals to people's self-interest to sway people's thinking and to control public opinion, aimed mainly at protecting Special Interests' status-quo and to return to 'more of the same' that heavily contributed to the problems. This may help some politicians, who have their political ambitions above all else, with their strong supporters and major contributors but it will only continue to hurt the people and constitutes the ongoing con. The con is literally the most threatening condition as it hopes to excite people's emotions and deceive them into supporting policies that are against their best interests. Good luck!

    April 15, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. REG in AZ

    In all of the statistics about Health Care Reform there is always one interesting percentage that stands out and that is the large percentage of the people who don't really understand it. I recognize a substantial effort going on to use subterfuge in the form of scare tactics and emotional charged appeals to people's self-interest to sway people's thinking and to control public opinion, aimed mainly at protecting Special Interests' status-quo and to return to 'more of the same' that heavily contributed to the problems. This may help some politicians, who focus on their political ambitions above all else, with their strong supporters and major contributors but it will only continue to hurt the people and constitutes the ongoing con. The con is literally the most threatening condition today as it hopes to excite people's emotions and deceive them into supporting policies that are against their best interests. Hopefully people will begin to be objective and rational, with their emotions under control, and resist the pressures of the deceptive efforts and seek to calmly understand and make their own decisions.

    April 15, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Ellid

    Why are you devoting so much time to a bunch of angry loudmouths? Are you *trying* to undermine the country?

    April 15, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Michael from Ventura

    I know it's a journalists job to go where the story is- but you couldn't PAY me to ride on that bus at all, much less from Boston to D.C.

    April 15, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. john in binghamton NY

    Why is the media and CNN going nutz over the so called TEA Party? The are the GOP. They were started by Dick Army GOP. Did you read their so called contract with America? A GOP stunt from the past and the list looks unsurprising like the GOP purity test. I can sum it up for you: No to Obama, no to government except the parts they like and only when it is proposed by a republican, and no to taxes.

    April 15, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. AllenP

    Where were the imbedded journalists traveling around with war protestors when this country spent billions fighting an unnecessary war?

    Oh, that's right, they were riding along in humvees cheering on George Bush.

    Thanks CNN. Just keep sucking like you normally do and continue to drop in ratings and respect.

    You're getting exactly what you deserve for this kind of know nothing reporting.

    April 15, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. frank in valparaiso indiana

    Producers produce fluff pieces,
    how about a real reporter on the bus next time?

    April 15, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Reggie

    I get the tea party messege but i can't support them. Sarah palin is from Canada, she wasn't born in America. If your an real american why are you sneaking to canada to get healthcare

    April 15, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. jerseylou

    AS i said it in the very beginning these tea party people are nothing but repubicans and i was right ! The media is doing a dis-service to the American People to make them seem other than that.

    April 15, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. Ruty

    What you really saw as a bus full of FOOLS.

    April 15, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. MJ

    Just may be that we are sick and tired of the reckless spending of this administration. I, for one, do not want this Socialistic Agenda shoved down my throat. Taxes? You bet! Just wait – even those who rely solely on Public Assistance will fill the bite. Time to go out and get a real job and pay your own way. Obama Care is not going to be FREE!

    April 15, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Duke, Sarasota

    If Florida's Democratic trouncing is any indication of what Americans
    think of the Tea Party's ideals, they're in really big trouble.

    April 15, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. dennis

    I can't understand why the Tea Party allows CNN on the bus, since CNN is solely controlled by the Democrat National committee.

    April 15, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Independent

    Where were all these people when Bush was running up the deficit with his two wars, medicare, and bank bailouts? How come it matters now, but it didn't matter while Bush was President? I'd also like to know how all of these people can afford to travel around the country while the rest of us are struggling to get by. How can someone afford $500-$1000 to hear someone speak or get their picture taken with a politician, yet complain about everything about the government. So far, all I have seen are lots of complaints but no solutions.

    April 15, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. Corbett

    Sounds like a lot more fun than actually researching the issues, finding better solutions or looking for a job.

    April 15, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. dennis

    If anyone would like to determine how rational and well educated liberals are, just read a few of the posts CNN likes to leave "moderated". & Posted. LOL! Read the Liberal Rants and Lies listed on this article!

    April 15, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. JP

    The same people traveling around the country, trying to make it look like a new crowd in each city.

    April 15, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. FLAGSHIP, NC

    The Tea Party wants to get rid of the Department of Environmental Protection:
    I work in conjuction with this Department. This department is the only thing between you and your family drinking unpolluted water, because some company thought it was cheaper to dump it's toxic waste into a creek than to pay for processing the waste material. They also regulate toxic air pollution from factories. They want no regulations on industry. (compementry of their GOP back door donors)
    The Department of Agriculture protects our food from toxic materials and bacteria. (Another department they want to get rid of.)
    These are the type of people who are not well educated and think in a mob mentality. THEY ARE DANGEROUS!
    They are like the Brown Shirts "Party" that brought Hitler to power in the 1930's. (Read your history books) THEY ARE DANGEROUS!

    April 15, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. Linda

    Amazing how the tea partiers are mad about taxes. Taxes to pay the salaries of federal, state and local officials. What govenment workers are to work for free? Besides, they make less than the private sector doing the same work. It takes money to run a country. Sarah Palin makes more money giving 2 speeches (I heard $100,000 a speach) at these Tea Party events than what we pay a Senator for an entire year of work.

    April 15, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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