'First ever' Tea Party town hall draws senators, reps.
Supporters applaud as the U.S. Senate Tea Party Caucus gathers for their first meeting January 27, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
February 3rd, 2011
07:24 AM ET
3 years ago

'First ever' Tea Party town hall draws senators, reps.

Washington (CNN) - Few groups have the clout to convince senators and members of the House to leave Capitol Hill, for a few hours, to personally address their concerns and gripes.

But as the Tea Party movement flexes its political muscle, it appears it has sway with some lawmakers - even as some Americans express reservations about the movement.

On Tuesday, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah will join Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Iowa Rep. Steve King in what is being billed as a "first-ever Tea Party Town Hall." All four lawmakers are members of their chambers' version of a Tea Party caucus.

The event will put the four Republicans in front of an audience that is expected to be largely friendly, but one that will certainly be very demanding.

In a statement, the Tea Party Express said it is teaming up with TeaPartyHD.com for the event. The lawmakers will talk to, and take questions from, activists sitting in a live audience and from others participating via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.

"The issues we'll be discussing are primarily the tea party ideals of Constitutionally limited government, support for private enterprise, lower taxes, and fiscal responsibility," Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said in the statement.

According to a recent Gallup poll, only 47% of Republicans have a positive view of the Tea Party movement, with 42% saying they do not like it. But the same poll also revealed that nearly 90% of Republicans want lawmakers like Paul, Lee, Bachmann, King and others to give significant weight to Tea Party ideas.

soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    Tea Party = photo op / PR campaign for republicans trying to appear like they have reinvented themselves.

    February 3, 2011 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  2. Chris

    A Tea Party town hall – as opposed to the regular town hall meetins about HCR, where a cabal of Insurance companies, Koch brothers, and Dick Armey paid to bus in loads of Tea Partiers from out of town, and they were given explicit instrustions to spread out, be loud and disruptive as possible, shout down anyone who disagrees with you, and ensure that they are the only ones who get a say in anything.

    February 3, 2011 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  3. GaryB

    I walked by a tea party rally in my county last year. Most of the attendees were in the 60+ age range. They railed against health insurance reform and demanded lower taxes, without seeming to realize that most of them reap benefits from two government run social programs (social security and medicare) that are worth, in all likelihood, far more than they ever paid into these programs during their working careers. To be honest, they just seemed a little whiney.

    February 3, 2011 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  4. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Radical extremist puppets of the Koch boys,Dick Armey and the wingnut GOBP. Follow the money scammed from these "Patriots"

    February 3, 2011 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  5. ramtruck2500

    This is the best joke from lobbyist paid republicans or whatever they are ever!!! A crowd hand selected and all rich white retirees, gee they got their part of the pie now its play ball or we will take the ball home. I see nothing good in their nagging and continual negativism. Just a bunch of dysfunctional nay sayers. And then there is Bachman Speechless is about all one can say . so much arrogant stupidity in one human being.

    February 3, 2011 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  6. Irma in North Carolina

    All if the tea party gang needs to be out of commision. This group is bringing the country down.

    February 3, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  7. u2canfail

    Well thank goodness the KOCH Bros, met first, they have marching orders now!

    February 3, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  8. The Other Dale

    On Tuesday, four "politicians" who have already embarrassed the Republican Party multiple times will sit in a room with a small group of ignorant scared people and will make lovey-dovey noises at each other until it's time for a cigarette.

    On the other hand, it at leasts gets the children together to play while the adults somewhere else deal seriously with matters of the country.

    February 3, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  9. Chaos

    Its a meeting of the fringe nut job element of Congress.

    February 3, 2011 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. John

    Man, look at that crowd. Old, white, and comically dressed. Twenty years from now when most of them are dead, this country is gonna be awesome

    February 3, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. JennyTX

    I would like to know how many tea partiers practice fiscal responsibility. That is, how many of them pay off their credit cards every month? How many of them have affordable mortgages?

    February 3, 2011 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  12. Derka Derr

    A vote for the Tea Party is a vote to watch America fail, as simple as that, just look at all the things they want to wipe off the record of history just to save a buck. Please, underachievers like I've never seen it before. Doing a great job telling us what we CAN'T do. Wow, your inspiring, next....

    February 3, 2011 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  13. skeptic

    Take a good look at the people in the picture! Their all "filthy rich". Do you see any Americans with color in the crowd? What message does that send you? Coarse you have to have "common sense" First!!!!! LOL Where is Newk,Palin,and DeMint???

    February 3, 2011 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  14. T'sah from Virginia

    ["...Tea Party movement flexes its political muscle, it appears it has sway with some lawmakers..."]

    And the people they swayed ARRRRRREEEEEE --– Paul, Bachmann, Lee and King???????? That is NOT swaying; they are regulars of the TP. It would have been more of a story if they swayed DEMOCRATS to attend their town hall meeting!! Jeez!!

    Lately, the LOUDER the TP shouts – the more the American people turn the volume DOWN!! The TP, in my opinion, has run their course and it’s sickening now for them to still get so much news!!

    February 3, 2011 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  15. Kevin

    Wow, the tea party is a joke. I always ask this question and no memeber of the tea party can answer it, so I'll ask it again. Tea party members you say you are for physical responsibility, smaller government, and less regulation, so where were you during the Bush years? The entire tea party thinks the government went out of control as soon as we elected President Obama. I wonder why? Yet they let people like Rep. Bachmann who was a member of congress during the Bush years get off scott free. It's funny how our Nation elected a president who's fixing the mess Bachman and the rest of the republicans left us with and yet because of the color of his skin some people just can't get over thier hate.

    February 3, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  16. Denny

    Every country has it's method of staging a revolution to show loss of confidence in their government. Violence is one method. The Tea Party is our way.

    February 3, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  17. D. Bunker

    A recent poll showed that more Americans had a favorable view of the word "socialism" than they did for the Tea Party. It's pretty bad when the teatards are viewed as being worse than the word the throw around so carelessly.

    February 3, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  18. nate

    Finally we can stop all the wasteful govt. spending. By the way did Bachmann give back her Govt. farm subsidies?

    February 3, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  19. joe blow

    the secret town hall meeting with set topics and an invited audience at an undisclosed location sponsored by the republican lobbyist ross and the koch brothers. how brave. how bush.

    February 3, 2011 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. milirantdem

    The GOP, Tea Party and the "religious" right will all pay for all the damage they have done, are doing – and want to do to the USA!

    February 3, 2011 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  21. Ron

    "even as some Americans express reservations about the movement" Had to throw in that little biased dig at the Tea Party. As if the Tea Parties agenda of fiscal responsibility is so radical. Is balancing the national budget, paying off the national debt ,lowering taxes and adhering to the original intent of our founding fathers really that radical. I think not.

    Well if your goal is to redistribute wealth by heavily taxing those that are willing to work and giving the proceeds to those that are not willing to work, then maybe it is.

    February 3, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. validity

    a picture's worth 10,000 words. a bunch of old, weird, white people.

    February 3, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. vin

    All the nut-jobs, fruitcakes, wackos in the same room at the same time. What an opportunity!

    February 3, 2011 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  24. Mikey

    The picture looks like a representative sample of the tea party. Overheard at a TP rally: A man dressed as a colonial patriot right down to the powdered wig and square buckled shoes says to the man next to him, who is dressed head to toe in military fatigues carrying a rifle and two pistols, "We have to stop all those left wing lunatics." I guess we should have more compassion for those who's lives are controlled by their fears.

    February 3, 2011 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  25. king

    the tea party reunion i meant the repug reunion, a grass root financed by big corporation republicans to gain back their standing when bush administration bombed the country. i give these repugs this they are always looking for ways to reinvent themselves, this time by infultrating the poor and desolate and acting like they were one of them. and as soon as they gained back power they couldnt help it to start acting like repugs again by holding the country hostage to support their big corporations, more money to outsource from our economy in the tax cut skeem. pleeeeze tell that to the already dummed down tea baggers that you have mind control over. all of us haven't been succumed by your big corporation propaganda skeems.

    February 3, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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