June 19th, 2010
01:32 PM ET
5 years ago

Mark Williams steps aside as chairman of the Tea Party Express

'This initiative came from me,' Tea Party activist Mark Williams said Saturday of his new role within the Tea Party Express.
'This initiative came from me,' Tea Party activist Mark Williams said Saturday of his new role within the Tea Party Express.

Washington (CNN) - Conservative radio talk show host and prominent Tea Party activist Mark Williams is giving up his role as the chairman of the Tea Party Express, Williams told CNN Saturday.

Williams said his decision stemmed from his involvement in two other major projects.

One is opposing the construction of a mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.

Related: Protesters descend on Ground Zero for anti-mosque demonstration

The other is leading a recall effort against some members of the Sacramento City Council and running for a spot on the local body himself after the council voted to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law.

"What I'm doing is thinking globally and acting locally," Williams said of his bi-coastal commitments.

Williams said he will continue to be involved with the Tea Party Express as a spokesman, a featured speaker at the group's events, in television and print media, and generally as a public face of the organization.

But Williams will be taking a back seat when it comes to the Tea Party Express' day-to-day managerial responsibilities.

"I'll still be shooting my mouth off and appearing on TV," said Williams. "I just won't be as critical in strategy which is fine by me."

Pointing out that the organization has grown so large and consists of a network of volunteers spread out all over the country targeting a number of midterm races, Williams said the group now needs something akin to a chief executive officer.

The Tea Party activist said he's already weighed in internally within the organization about who should succeed him as chairman.

And the outspoken conservative said recent controversial comments on his part played no role in his change in status within the Tea Party Express.

"This initiative came from me," said Williams. "Once I got involved in this recall effort, I realized I would have zero time."

Williams also said the recall effort "is an example of Tea Party philosophy in action. You see something wrong and you step in to fix it."

soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. pierce

    Oh, and those who look into Mark Williams' past, like Michael "Weiner" Savage, will find a very disturbing look at extreme right-wing hate mongering.

    If you are a Nazi or KKK admirer, he is your man.

    June 19, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. Matty P

    Hey Mark, why don't you let the good people of NYC worry about NYC, and you stick to your neck of the woods. Can you really think globally and act locally in two towns 3000 miles apart?
    Your monkey-brained comments might fly with the stale, pale, male tea party, but as long as this country is truly great, fear and hate will only win you Republican primaries.

    June 19, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. Tony Crago

    Well chalk one up for another case of right wing nut job turns to religious bigotry to prove America doesn't need the TeaBaggers! This guy will say or do anything to make a buck and to capitalize on the right wing hysteria that he and his ilk stir up for both profit and political gain. If this guy represents the Tea Baggers point of view then it's proof they are all waaaaaaaay outside the mainstream of the America I know and love. Good riddance.

    June 19, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Drew

    So one more guy pimping a living off the never-ending culture wars changes horses in midstream, and this is news why?

    June 19, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Mesa Mick

    BUH-BYE! We won't miss you one bit, promise...

    June 19, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    Is there a"Tea Party" way to catch a dog? (yeah right probably shoot it)
    So there you have it. I would not vote for one of these idiots for dog catcher.

    June 19, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Why be the speaker of a backward thinking group when you can affect policy in the name of backward thinking causes?
    We need to be aware fo these poeple getting into small own councils and on school boards and moving us back to the 19th century. They are far worse than the causes they oppose.

    June 19, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. Gil

    Darn! I hope this won't mean that the teabuggers have stopped trying to radicalize the repuglican party? I wanted it to be torn to pieces by the 25%-30% of the right wing nut cases that seem to be trying to get their way. Now Rubio is having his house foreclosed, He'd be a great party representative, Angle in Utah is having to admit she was a democrat years ago and the extremists need to exert their influence more.

    June 19, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. pierce

    And one more thing: ask youselves why this party attracts the michael savages, the mark williams and the steve kings of this country.

    Because the tea party espouses racism and nativism and treason against our country. Simple and true.

    June 19, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Matt

    Translation: with *me* out front, even the press was starting to notice that the whole "Tea Party" movement is made of racist idiots who think all Muslims should be killed. We can't have that.

    I'd love to see CNN ask him how he squares the teabaggers' love of "private property rights" and organizing demonstrations to try to tell a private property owner not to build an Islamic center. Or do only "real Americans" (read: white evangelical Christians) get rights?

    June 19, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. jodipo

    so in other words, he wants all the glory, and none of the work. Heh, sounds like a republican to me.

    June 19, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. rickymo

    What a loss. But I am sure there are many other idiots like him that can fill his shoes.

    June 19, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. W L jones

    Since most of the Tea party members dont wrok it would be a good thing for them help clean up the oil in gulf state. Bless.

    June 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. Jim In Miami

    Mark Williams wasn't really the 'chairman' of the Tea Party Express.
    .
    Mark Williams WAS the Tea Party Express.
    .
    We won't be hearing much more from them

    June 19, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Down they go.

    June 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. TonyInLargo

    I don't care if we are only fighting Muslim Extremists and not the "tolerant" Muslims. I believe that putting-up a Mosque within eye-shot of the World Trade Center Memorial would be the same as raising a Japanese Flag at the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

    No Mosques anywhere near the World Trade Center Memorial, now or ever.!!!!!!!!!

    That would be sacrilegious.

    June 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. ray

    this racists and racists like him should all but put infront of a firing squad and let this country and world be a better place.

    June 19, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. P Alfonso

    Good, The Tea Party is about Freedom and if he wants to get involved in other non-sense projects then go do it and wipe his name of the Tea Party movment..

    June 19, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Yup... getting out before the tea bags splinter into a dozen nut-bag groups

    June 19, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. Tony L

    Both the stands that Tea party express Chairman of politburo Mark Williams has mentioned in his statement, one being opposed to mosque being built few blocks from 9/11 site with private money and Arizona boycott issue by Sacramento City Council clearly shows the extreme fringe of the right wing tea party express racist leanings. Tea party express is not a popular movement but a extremist right wing fringe that is confusing the moderate middle class Americans by showing the only common issue of deficit and abusive spending of this nation leaders and congress. Tea Party express is full of racists. Don't confuse the issue.

    June 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Spendlove

    He's too busy for Tea-Bagging anymore, what a shame.

    June 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Jimbo (The real one)

    Sounds like the Tea Party Express is "taking on water..."

    June 19, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Dennis1020

    This guy is from my old hometown of "Sacratomato"?!? Oh gawd, I'm really embarrassed.

    June 19, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. A

    This makes sense. They need someone who can handle all the logistics and management full-time.

    June 19, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. James

    I am not trying to sound snarky here buy, I thought the Tea Party was a totally organic movement with no leaders?

    June 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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