Tea Party leader: Tea Party 'is not a wing of the Republican Party!'
January 25th, 2011
04:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Tea Party leader: Tea Party 'is not a wing of the Republican Party!'

Washington (CNN) - Echoing comments from Rep. Michele Bachmann, the head of the Tea Party Express insists that the Minnesota Republican's response to the State of the Union is not meant to compete with the official Republican response from Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

But Express Chairman Amy Kremer also emphatically told CNN on Tuesday that "the peoples' voices" need to be heard - and that the Tea Party "is not a wing of the Republican Party!"

Kremer's comments come amid intense attention being paid to Bachmann's planned response to the president's annual address.

An Express email, sent to reporters on Tuesday, blared out the headline: "Bachmann to counter Barack Obama – TONIGHT!"

Despite the hyped-up headline, Kremer insisted that Bachmann's Tea Party response is "being blown out of proportion" - and was not meant to take on Ryan.

"This has absolutely nothing to do with Paul Ryan," Kremer said.

It may not be personal with Ryan but there's no dispute the Tea Party Express wants to counter Obama's message Tuesday night independent of the GOP.

Kremer noted that she first approached Bachmann, either in November or December, about possibly speaking for Tea Party activists. The Express wanted someone closely aligned with the Tea Party movement to kick off its weekly broadcasts on TeaPartyHD.com, Kremer noted. She added that Bachmann's staff immediately liked the idea.

Kremer said that, when the idea was conceived, they did not know who would deliver a Republican response to the State of the Union.

"This has to do with the Tea Party movement, and our supporters – and who have aligned themselves with the Tea Party movement."

Kremer called Bachmann "an obvious choice," noting her popularity with Tea Party activists and her founding the first House Tea Party Caucus.

At the same time, the carefully choreographed Tea Party response is designed to send another message to lawmakers.

"Our focus is to bring conservatives to Washington. Not Republicans," Kremer said.


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • SOTU 2011 • Tea Party Express
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. Jeff in Virginia

    Not a wing of the Republican party, but still votes straight R. Nope. Not Republicans.

    January 25, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  2. D.J.

    Not the wing but the rear end.

    January 25, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Bob in PA

    They want to shut out legitimate voices in the political debate. The two party system has come to cramp freedom when both parties refuse to heed to the wishes of their constituents.

    January 25, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. GL

    Yes the hell it is and it is too late to try to distance yourself.

    January 25, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. patcee

    Maybe we're going to see just what it is the Tea Partiers want, and what they don't expect to get from Republicans. It seems they are after low taxes and no responsibility for social programs any longer. What do they propose to do about the large population of have-nots in our country? Perhaps we'll find out tonight.

    January 25, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The Tea Party is the funniest anti American part of the republican party and was created by billionaires, Fox, and the Koch brothers. The republican party used them to get control of congress and threw them under the bus. Maybe the baggers will realize that the republicans rode them hard and put them away wet, but then again, maybe not.

    January 25, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. S. In California

    Let's see: IMAGINE this is an all black group calling the president "George Bush" and yelling chants of disrespect and showing despicable pictures of him (apes, monkeys, Hitler), etc.. Do you really think CNN or any other news outlet would be giving them coverage? No, they would not. The people at these rallies would all be locked up and every federal agency in the US would be watching them. EVERY time you give these nasty people a story on your website CNN it tells me where your mind is. They are nasty, ignorant racist hicks who thrive off hatred. They belong on some other planet all by themselves. The reality is they don't belong in a civilized society period.

    January 25, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These people appear to be either retired and living on government social security and medicare benefits and/or just plain blowhards.

    January 25, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. GL

    What a mess the Republicans and the Tea Baggers Republicans running from each other and they will be destroy in the near future. A house divided WILL NOT STAND!

    January 25, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Ben Ben

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that. You guys are just "Extreme Republicans".

    January 25, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. moesmum

    The picture tells it all......TPE = Good Ole' White Boys! (and Girls!) Wonder where the trailors and cycles are parked!

    January 25, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. GL

    An Express email, sent to reporters on Tuesday, blared out the headline: "Bachmann to counter Barack Obama – TONIGHT!"

    What a mess and I see a big DIVDE between the Republicans and the Tea Bagger Republicans. HOUSE THAT IS DIVIDED WILL NOT STAND!

    January 25, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Michael in Houston

    That picture of Tea Party supporters says it all

    January 25, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    These people don't know what they are doing. Where were they when the GOP controlled the Congress and the White House? The spending there was unrestrained. It was going out like it was out of style. They should have been protesting then! They are late to the party.

    January 25, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. GL

    Tea Party "is not a wing of the Republican Party!"

    We all know that the Tea Party is the far far right wing of the Republicans party. Other words the loony toon hard cord white racist fools that can not stand having a BLACK PRESIDENT tellling these red necks what to do. This is ALL ABOUT the great hate the Tea Baggers Republicans have toward this black president nothing less.

    January 25, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. joyost

    Another crazy statement from the Tea Bag. Everybody knows that they are a wing of Republican Party. Michele Bachman IS a Repub. She and all the others ran as Republicans for general election and the Republican primaries.
    From HER website "Elected in 2006, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota"

    January 25, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Freeman

    Who are these people trying to kikk..oops I meant kidd?

    January 25, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Remember when the baggers said they were taxed enough already? It appears that the President Obama tax cuts, which make the rates the lowest in 50 years, was not what this movement is really about. It also appears that the baggers are not interested in reducing the debt either, because they supported extending the tax cuts for the wealthy which add $2.3 billion to our debt. The baggers also want government to leave their social security and medicare alone, so their movement is not about eliminating their entitlements. I wonder what is driving their hate and fear.

    January 25, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Our focus is to bring conservatives to Washington. Not Republicans," Kremer said."

    Cool. Now the TeaParty can endorse Michele Bachmann as their presidential candidate, the GOPers can have their own primary candidate, and I'll continue to support Obama to his landslide victory.

    January 25, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. LGNY

    Right... and the sun does not rise in the east.

    If it is not part of the Republican party why did their candidates run as Republicans? If they are a third party, then they should have run as third party candidates.

    January 25, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. hwy911

    If the Tea Party is NOT a wing of the GOP, then it needs to get out from under the GOP's umbrella, hold it's own primaries, and become a bona fide third party. Otherwise, it's all a facade.

    January 25, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Phil in KC

    So, then, why are they elected as Republicans and not a separate 3rd Party? Should I expect that they will not caucus with the Republicans in Congress? They can protest all they want. But, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

    January 25, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Buddy

    So, does this mean that if the Tea Party does not like the Republican nominee for President, that they will nominate their own candidate?

    January 25, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Gawd !! I'll be glad when the nuts find another game to play and stop with all this destructive nonsense. They DO NOTHING, OFFER NOTHING, GET OUT OF THE WAY.

    January 25, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. GL

    "This has to do with the Tea Party movement, and our supporters – and who has aligned themselves with the Tea Party movement."

    Who is using who? Is the Tea Bagger Republicans using the Republicans to help take ths country back to the raciist years of this country or the Republicans using the Tea Baggers to win elections? WHAT A MESS!

    January 25, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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