Mixed signals from Tea Party at rally
April 6th, 2011
05:30 PM ET
4 years ago

Mixed signals from Tea Party at rally

Washington (CNN) - As the clock ticks toward a government shutdown, Tea Party activists are turning up the heat. Hundreds of conservative activists rallied Wednesday near the steps of the U.S. Capitol chanting, "Shut it down."

"It's time for taxpayers to take back the government. And let's shut it down for a few days. It's not going to come to a catastrophic end," said David Williams with the Taxpayer Protection Alliance.

Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence was right there with them.

"If liberals in the Senate would rather play games in this process and force a government shutdown rather than accepting what is a small down payment on fiscal discipline, then we should just shut it down," Pence said.

But Minnesota Republican and Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann stopped short of calling for a shutdown, telling CNN she thinks a deal can be reached.

"I think we will see a resolution by Friday. I think in all likelihood it will happen," Bachmann said. But she acknowledged the current stalemate over a budget for this fiscal year is heading toward the brink.

"A lot of us are concerned," Bachmann said.

Even some of the Tea Party protestors are conflicted. Activist John Oltsevig was dressed as a Revolutionary War patriot and waving a sign that read, "Shut 'Er Down." But he said the sign was only symbolic.

"I don't want the government to shut down. I'm making a point," Oltsevig said. "We need to get serious about cutting our budget," he added.


Filed under: Michele Bachmann • Mike Pence • Tea Party
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Republican Robber Baron

    Wake-up Tea Party...you have been duped by bogus promises by the Big $ Republican establishment that only cares about their rich and powerful lobbyist sponsors. The Tea Party is just something that gives the illusion of serving the people, when in reality the Republicans only serve the rich and well-connected lobbyists...on the wrong side of the "people" almost every single time.

    April 6, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. terry,va

    A few days doesn't cover it for me. I don't care if the fools shut her down for months. There is one catch however. No federal employees, congress and Obummie gets paid. The American Federation of Government Employees have already filed a lawsuit wanting their money in case of a shutdown. How ignorant is that? That is why ALL government unions should be eliminated. They aren't special.

    April 6, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Tim

    Shut it down and send them home. They can't do much harm if they don't go to work. It will be nice to see just how little we get for our money.

    April 6, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Sandra, Atl

    You Tea Party folks need to stop acting as if you represent everyone. You don't and I for one am throughly sick of you. You hate the President so much you would do anything to make a point against him. I don't ever want to hear about your 'values'. People with moral character don't hate like you folks so obviously do.

    April 6, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Tim

    NVa Native. Turn off MSNBC. If you find CNN as Fox-light, you really do have blinders on. We want to shrink our government, because quite frankly, I don't need and don't want there services, and don't want to pay for the freeloaders.

    April 6, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Biggge

    If these crazy think US Service men and woman not getting paid is not a catastrophic end, maybe you all should put food on their tables...Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence should maybe give up his pay in support..Thousands of Gov. employee's without a pay check, what is killing me is the media coverage of about a couple of hundred Tea party people..Outragous......We will not give end to your

    assult on the elderly ( medicare)
    assult on woman rights ( abortion rights)
    assult on the working class ( collective barginning rights )
    helping the wealthy stay wealthy ( extending Bush tax breaks for the wealthy )
    No money for the poor but money for the wealthy ( we see right though you Sir )

    April 6, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. Lee Bart

    Shut it down and it's gonna cost even more money than what they want cut. X_X

    April 6, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. C. Howe Yulikit

    All these "fiscal conservatives" are going to be whining and crying in about a week when they realize that their lives are being effected by the shut down. This is a major loss for the GOP no matter how they try to spin it. The Tea bagger backlash is about to begin.

    April 6, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Ann

    When will the media just admit that the Tea Party folks are a bunch of hyprocrits? They have overplayed their hand on this issue. The results of the mid-term election went to their heads and they were convinced that the Democrats would see this as a sign of things to come for 2012 and become intimidated and therefore, cave in to all of the Tea Party demands. Well once again Barack Obama has played a good hand. He starts from a position of compramize, then leaves the ball in the Tea Party's Court and is now calling their bluff. Now the Tea Party members are feeling confiliced because – guess what? – with a Government shut down their supporters will also suffer right along with the rest of the population. Oh what a tangled web we weave! when others we try to deceive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Tea Party is not an official political party the electorate did not vote for them in 2008 and yet they want to exert all of this influence over how the country should be governed. What a joke,

    April 6, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. T'sah from Virginia

    "It's time for taxpayers to take back the government." says TP
    That's right ONLY ya'll pay taxes – everyone else live in a creek
    "...let's shut it down for a few days. It's not going to come to a catastrophic end"
    But what IF after days, then months – still no COMPROMISE – tell me – what then?

    You guys on the far-right are so HEAD STRONG and DEAD WRONG
    You think you own American and you keep singing the same song
    Look at your crowds and that will tell EVERYONE what you represent
    That's why NO ONE that's just fighting for YOU will EVER be President!!!!

    April 6, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. AZ DEM

    San when Bachmann is one of the voices of reason in ANYTHING. A shutdown is counterproductive to our economic growth and for members of Congress to be advocating for this event is really shameful. Neither side is going to gain much of an advantage over the other politically if anything it will equally destroy BOTH sides. Hopefully a shutdown is once again avoided because this is one of the last things we need to keep exhausting so much energy on.

    April 6, 2011 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Big Daddy

    If you look at the actual crowd you have to wonder if they will still want a shutdown if it means they will no longer get their social security checks.

    April 6, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. once upon a horse

    yeah that's right shut it down.....glad I got my tax return back already. Shouldn't the Tea Party be hollering about the GOP wanting to cut back on Medicare...you know that chant they had during the HC debate of "government keep your hands OFF my Medicare".....America meet the REAL meaning of Death Panel. But it's ok to cut Medicade because that goes to the , you know "welfare folks" and they are just lazy moochers anyway. No wonder the Tea Party approval rating is down!

    April 6, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Positive

    "Hundreds of conservative activists rallied Wednesday near the steps of the U.S. Capitol chanting, "Shut it down.""

    Hundreds. Somewhere between 200 – 999 people does not count as a "mandate"

    April 6, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. diridi

    bunch of old idiots....what do you expect....they are on war money....o.k....just ignore these handful of idiots....no respect for America, if had they do not join in thugs party.....

    April 6, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Richard Johnson

    People who are really concerned about the deficit would not propose a 10 decrease in the highest tax rate.

    April 6, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. ME and YOU

    The median personal wealth for members of Congress grew to $911,510 in 2009, up from $785,515 in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires.

    Rank-and-File Senators and Representatives
    2011: $174,000
    2000: $141,300

    If you are a GRADE 15 /Step 9 and your salary is 129,517 or more I'm not saying that you don't deserve it. I just think we should start at the top of the list of the entire GOVERNMENT pay scale and review the INCREASE on the CONGRESS Pay Scale from 2008 to the present and hold off on some raises and bonuses so that the LITTLE people aka Middle and Low Class people don't suffer. EVERY little bit helps but don't cut education and things that will have MORE of an impact on the LOWER and MIDDLE CLASS people. How reasonable is it to give us 6 months notice to get our FINANCIAL AFFAIRS in order.

    April 6, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. Bart in Omaha

    Hypocrites. The tea partiers are mostly old, white people. Wonder how they would feel about cutting social security and medicare/medicaid? They probably like that government spending, which, along with security, makes up most of the spending that occurs.

    April 6, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Phil

    Forcing a shutdown of the government is not constructive. It's actually a kind of treason.

    April 6, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Joe

    This so called Tea Party does not elaborate on their plans for government, just listen as they speak.

    April 6, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    Tea Party activists act like an unruly mob of ruffians not understanding the harm they do to the country. The GOP will pay a price in the next elections for surrendering the party to Tea Party activists.

    April 6, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  22. @Omegaraiel (twitter)

    The GOP budget will make me unable to afford to health care when I retire.

    April 6, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Mtnjim

    The war on the poor and soon to be poor (middle class) continues!!

    April 6, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. ITALIAN NONNO

    I no understand these people,.., maybe they put too much Grappa in their tea,.. shut down the government they scream,.. what gonna happen if somebody attack America,.. no Army, no air force. They gonna complain they get no mail, no old age security cheque. Bunch of anarchist troublemakers.

    April 6, 2011 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  25. Jerry in NC

    Where were all these fiscally conservative activists 10 years ago, when the government was spending and borrowing money from China?????? I look at the picture at the top of this article and I see nothing but older white people....people who have perfected methods and techniques for decades, on how to pay as little as possible in taxes. The only futures they are concerned about, are the futures of their investment portfolios. The people who actually foot the tax bill in this country are the ones that President Obama spent money trying to rescue from the money and blood-sucking capitalist system in this country. Struggling, hard-working americans didn't create the fiscal crisis in this country, the well-to-do and wealthy did.

    April 6, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
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