Tea Party message to new Speaker
January 6th, 2011
09:52 AM ET
7 years ago

Tea Party message to new Speaker

(CNN) - A warning Thursday from a Tea Party movement leader to new House Speaker John Boehner.

"As you get down to work, there are a few things to remember. You did not become Speaker because America suddenly fell in love with you or the Republican Party. You became Speaker because America, led by the Tea Party, repudiated Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the party of socialism," writes Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, a national Tea Party organization that's based in Tennessee.

As to what Tea Party activists want the new Congress to do, Phillips writes: "First, STOP SPENDING MONEY!"

Phillips ends his letter by predicting that Boehner has two choices: "You can simply be a nice guy and compromise on legislation and the agenda. And you might not be speaker in two years. Or you can stand firm for a strong conservative agenda. If you fight, it will be a bloody fight, but when you look at the great leaders of the past, they did not compromise. They fought. What will it be? Do you have the Reagan in you?"

Phillips founded Tea Party Nation in 2009. It runs a social networking site with what it says are around 40,000 members. The group is best know for holding the first National Tea Party convention, in Nashville, Tennessee in February 2010. The convention came under criticism by others in the movement because of Tea Party Nation's for profit status at the time.

Phillips' comments come one day after Mark Meckler, one of the leaders of the Tea Party Patriots, termed as an "absolute joke" word that House Republicans would not be able to cut $100 billion from this year's federal budget.

The Republicans, thanks in part to strong support from Tea Party activists, won a net gain of 63 seats in the House in November's midterm elections, taking back control of the chamber.

Filed under: John Boehner • Tea Party Nation
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Noocrat

    Actually he became speaker because the youth vote doesn't turn out for midterm elections.

    Come 2012, he's going to fall back to minority leader (if he's lucky enough to receive the nomination).

    January 6, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  2. Andrew

    I'd love to see numbers on these tea party fools of how many collect unemployment, medicare, acept tax breaks, and everything else the government hands out. They have to be getting money somewhere, since they spend their time protesting and rallying while others are working.

    January 6, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. lynn

    Hate to burst your bubble Tea Party members, but the public is fickled and tend to vote out the incumbants. Nothing to do with the superiority of your intellect. Actually we are coffee drinkers, can't stand tea.

    January 6, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Bob, Virginia

    If Boehner wants to have any chance at success, he should ignore nutbags like Judson Phillips.

    January 6, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. lisaspups

    With all due respec to the Tea Party, the last election was not a repudiatio nof the current administration. It was a perfect example of the short term memory of the American public and its willingness to buy into the propaganda rather than thinking for ourselves.

    January 6, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Greg

    "You did not become Speaker because America suddenly fell in love with you or the Republican Party. "

    Well said! If they screw it up, I have no reservations about doing everything I can to toss them out on their fat politician butts!

    January 6, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Boytjie

    "Do you have the Reagan in you?"

    Spending and Deficit Increasing Reagan?

    January 6, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  8. Lyle

    " Do you have the Reagan in you?"

    It is quotes like this, Mr. Phillips that expose the Tea Party's ignorance of facts and history. Yes, you are loud and stupid, but where is America going to go with that? Stop being dazzled by your sudden 15 minutes of fame and open a book.

    January 6, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  9. Texas Doc

    Yeah, good luck with the GOP meeting your demands Tea Party. They answer to no one except themselves and their corporate masters. You've been led to believe many false promises just to get your votes. Welcome to the real world.

    January 6, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. rusty155

    Boy the Tea Party sure they put the publican in the house ,me I though It was the American People. Me I think they back a bunch of unqualified people ,and I think the Tea Party Is a bunch of crap.

    January 6, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  11. Fed up in Texas

    I thought Boehner's speech was very good and I was surprised and hopeful. Now we have Tea Party people already
    threatening any and all who dare to go against, them and I'm not so hopeful. These people won a few seats in Congress,
    and now they think they have won a mandate to "rule" America. I don't appreciate the likes of Judson Phillips and
    Mark Meckler telling me what I will or will not do, by virtue of threats to politicians who do what they think is best for
    America. Agree or disagree is fine. Their threats are dangerous and their arrogance is disgusting.

    January 6, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  12. Matt in ID

    As the leader of the Tea Party Nation, I'd hoped Mr. Phillips would actually know his history. In the same statement he exhorts the Speaker Boehner to "STOP SPENDING MONEY", he praises Reagan–the very president who ran up deficits that we have to deal with today.
    And saying that "great leaders don't compromise," sure sounds good, but this country was built on compromise. The Founding Fathers who gathered to write the Constitution compromised to establish our government. So were they bad leaders, Mr. Phillips?
    The Republicans who are returning to power are the same ones who were given a blank check by the Bush II administration to increase government spending by 40% (and that number is according to John McCain). And you call Democrats socialists! Ha!
    People, please learn your history so you won't sound so ignorant.

    January 6, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    God forbid that Boehner should have *the Reagan* in him ... {shudder}.

    January 6, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. USA 1

    The new GOP controlled Congress is already wasting money. They are going to waste time and tax dollars on a vote to repeal healthcare for 32 million Americans. The Tea Party is useless, they want to eliminate government spending via cuts will directly affect the American middle class and the military. They run around the country using highways built and maintained by federal tax dollars, they accept government healthcare in the form of Medicare, Medicade, and prescription drug programs, and they collect Social Securityas well, yet they are willing to cut other peoples benefits , like military pensions, healthcare, Commissaries and Base Exchange’s. If they want to start cutting they can refuse their own benefits to start with…they can set the example. Especially new GOP Congressmen and Senators, They can refuse to participate in government healthcare programs and they can reduce their own pay. Then maybe I could take the Tea Party seriously rather than see them as a bunch of hypocrites. You want to reduce the deficit? Use the Clinton formula, raise taxes a little, especially on the rich who have done so well over the last 20 years, trim some government spending, and increase tariffs on products coming from overseas, especially those that are subsidized by foreign governments. Tax companies that do budiness in this country. Over 50% of big businesses, especially oil companies, paid no taxes last year!

    January 6, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. greg in jax

    These Tea Partiers are terrorists holding our entire country hostage. seriously, wtf!!

    January 6, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. keeth in cali

    But Sarah Palin is a "socialist" too! She took profits from oil companies in Alaska and "spread the wealth around" to the citizens of that state. But this, of course, is an inconvenient truth.

    January 6, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Terry in Iowa

    The rhetoric of Judson Phillips of the Tea Party Nation eerily resembles that of fascists, “my way is the only right way” and based on opinion, speculation and lies, distorting just enough fact to motivate the ignorant and the scared.

    Our founding fathers and every other great leader understood the need to compromise, even the saintly Ronald Reagan. Only dictators have ruled through no compromise. This gentleman, Phillips, is asking the House GOP to do the exact same thing they wrongfully accuse the Obama administration of doing.

    I have no problem with the opinion that we must cut spending, in fact I’m for a Constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget, but we can’t continue to give away billions to the wealthy, deregulate to the point that stealing, poisoning and killing is legal and still “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

    January 6, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. Gary

    Sounds like the Tea Party wants to have the new Speaker of the House to do their personal bidding! I hope Mr. Boehner stands his ground and does what he thinks is best & not follow the dictates of Judson Phillips.

    January 6, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Wow! Given Mr. Phillips' full-of-himself attitude, socialism looks like a far more attractive than joining his Tea Party. Thank God he's Boehner's problem.

    January 6, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. T'sah from Virginia

    Hold up – Wait a Minute – Who DIED and left the Tea Party in charge??? The RepubliCAN'Ts better STOP believing that the 2010 election was all about THEM and the Tea Party – it was NOT!!! It was about "balancing of power" and that's IT!!!!!!

    "You became Speaker because America, led by the Tea Party, repudiated Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the party of socialism,"

    What America? Boehner better watch his back because in the end – he will lose from ALL OF AMERICANS – not just the Tea Party!!! The RepubliCAN'Ts did not STOP the SPENDING because they starting out by adding a $Trillion$ to the deficit with Tax Cuts for the RICH!! So right off the bat – they are spending!!!

    Please – President Obama is our LEADER – these TP-Folks think they can walk over EVERYONE and forgot that more than half of the country did NOT vote for them and half of the country is in favor with our current LEADER – So, take that to the bank and CASH IT!!

    January 6, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  21. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    The vote was not against O'Bama It was a lack of energy to vote. Everyone is pissed so they stayed away. If things improve there will be a swing the other way. If things get worst they will stay the same.
    Expect O'Bama to be reelected the Senate to gain a few left seats and the house to be more evenly divided

    It always happens. A majority of the so called independents can never make up their minds and keep shifting in the wind.

    January 6, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. America Shrugged

    I agree with Judson Philips, they should first repeal extending the tax cuts, unemployment extension, and then get to work repealing HCR and start gutting Medicare and Social Security. Let's see how that works out for ya in 2012. I'm getting the popcorn, this is going to be a fun 2 yrs to watch.

    January 6, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. Randy, San Francisco

    Tea Party members are making the same mistake progressive-liberals made in thinking they represent the majority of Americans. The majority of Americans are moderates or independents, slightly right of center. The Tea Party is found towards the extreme right of the conservative spectrum. If things don't improve, the Tea Party/GOP will take a share of the blame with Democrats.

    January 6, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. Liz the First

    America is NOT LED BY THE TEA PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not by any stretch of the imagination! the only reason these whack jobs got elected was that most people in this country are not involved in the political process. they've been so turned off by all the lies and negative campaigning, or they just don't understand or care how politics influences every bit of their lives. until we start paying attention as a whole to what's going on in the country, we're going to have these sorry idiots claiming they speak for us all. THEY DO NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 6, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Yanni

    It sounds like Blackmailing

    January 6, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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