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. carlos

    this guy should be sent to Guantanamo Bay

    June 19, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. El Gordo

    In short, this guy just wants to shoot his mouth off but not actually DO anything. Typical.

    June 19, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. ISaywhatISee

    This tea bag leader just wants white and christian citizens, institutions and places of worships in USA. You have to be not just blind but also illogical to not question his motive.

    June 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. frank

    Sounds more like a Joe Barton im ashamed step aside strategy to me.must have some compassion for some people that lost everything,repentance is starting to show for some in the tea party movement.

    June 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. FactCheck

    Yup, he needs to focus on his two other projects: grand vizier of the KKK and personal director of the American skinhead party.

    June 19, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    What a hateful person Williams is. And how sad that there are people in this country, also filled with fear and hate, who follow and support him.

    The whole teabagger movement is just a bunch of whiny people who can't handle losing in 2008. They see everything that is different than they are as "wrong" and "bad."

    Pathetic, sorry, little-minded people.

    June 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Susan

    even though I am a staunch liberal (only hypocrites can be conservatives), I also oppose the osque near the 9/11 site.

    It will definite create emotions to flare up even though the people in that mosque may not have anything to do with the 9/11 terrorism.

    June 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. Russell Hammond

    There's a "leader" to this movement? I thought the whole point was that it's philosophically "leaderless." You know, like communism.

    June 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Larry-Hazleton, Pa

    I have been asking the following question of every tea party person that I have met – "We are the Tea Party Express and we are here to take America Back" – my question is this who are you taking it from. I c,learly do not agree with your positions nor do I care for your leaders such as Palin, Paul, Limbaugh and the like – I am a democrat ha ve been and will be for the rest of my life – so are you here to take america back from those like me.

    June 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Jason

    It is possible to round up all of these Tea Bag nutcases and put them all in Arizona, take out all of the immigrants, and then drop a nuclear bomb in the middle of the state?

    June 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. GODZILLA1

    I believe it is referred to as 'JUMPING SHIP"

    June 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. Jason

    I meant...is it possible, not it is possible.

    June 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Tommy Perkins

    I think he got it right when he said shooting off at the mouth.

    June 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Marge

    Here we go again..tea bags ,,,,tea bags...If the MSM such as CNN didn't make such a big deal out of .01% of 1% of the population like they were high muckitedy mucks they tea bags would be shown up for what they are a bunch of old battle axes racists who can't stand the fact that Obama was elected president and that the Democrats are in charge.

    Wanting THEIR country back is a joke. 99% of America are darn glad that bush's stolen reign is over and that the republicans are a minority in congress. And after November they will be more of a minority. They are not fooling the public like they think they are. Dumb butt Barton let the cat out of the bag when he picked corporations over the people they corporations were ruining.

    June 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. duker1963

    I see a trend here
    I think Williams next protest will be against Blacks sitting in the front of busses

    June 19, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. katiec

    Maybe he sees the writing on the wall that real Americans will not accept or tolerate the nonsense that comes from the tea partiers.
    These people who are being blindly led by the rich radical right, supporting unfounded, irresponsible ideals that will set our country back for years and appear to be the media's darlings are in for a rude awakening as we will not sit back silently and listen to their hypocritical, biased, racial rantings.

    June 19, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Drew

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

    Sure, that and Lord knows what will be coming to the surface in the next few days. Hey, NOBODY bows out of a plum leadership position - even in a disfunctional organization such as the Toilet Paper Express - because they have other commitments.

    June 19, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. J.D.

    Reason #3 is it was a conflict with his nightly meetings with the KKK. racist scumbag.

    June 19, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  19. Just Saying...

    ["What I'm doing is thinking globally and acting locally," Williams said of his bi-coastal commitments.] What exactly is global thinking when you are hell bent on blocking global & local progressiveness??

    [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." ] You are every bit as wrong as your causes!

    June 19, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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