Conservative activists rip IRS at rally
June 19th, 2013
03:35 PM ET
10 months ago

Conservative activists rip IRS at rally

(CNN) – Thousands of tea party activists gathered Wednesday outside the Capitol in loud protest of the Internal Revenue Service, seeking to keep the beleaguered agency's scandal afloat nearly six weeks after the news first broke.

A range of congressional representatives and popular conservative speakers took to the podium as they fired off zings and digs at the IRS and the Obama administration for close to four hours.

"Anybody want to fire some IRS agents? Why don't we start with the 16,000 IRS agents that are going to implement Obamacare?" Sen. Rand Paul charged at the beginning of his brief speech.

With the crowd straining their necks and smiling broadly as Paul took the stage, the Republican senator from Kentucky said he was "horrified that my government has gotten out of control."

IRS officials have repeatedly said that the scrutinizing of tea party groups was not done out of political bias.

But the activists gathered Wednesday were not so convinced.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gained big applause when he declared that the IRS needs to be abolished. "And I've got a second idea: We need to take every one of those IRS agents and put them on our southern border," he said, drawing laughs.

"Now that's mostly a joke," he continued. "But I got to admit that if you were coming over illegally and you crossed the river and saw an army of IRS agents, you'd turn around and go home."

Conservative personality Glenn Beck unleashed a stream of fiery rhetoric. At one point he used a harsh anecdote about how slave owners learned to maintain control over their captives by watching circus masters chain and abuse elephants.

"Frederick Douglass was lucky enough to grow up in a house where he was taught to read, and to write, and to think. He knew that God did not make men to be masters over other men," he said.

"It is time that Americans remind themselves of this truth again, and rise up against the intimidation before the handful of peanuts from our new political circus masters are considered kindness, instead of the symbol of evil cruelty which they are," he added.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, chairwoman of the House tea party caucus, stated it's been 100 years since the beginning of the U.S. tax code. Firing up the crowd, she asked, "Don't you think that a century of oppression is enough?"

The four-term congresswoman, who's not seeking re-election next year, described herself as an "insurgent" as she talked about her former job at the IRS as a tax lawyer.

"I believe if you understand the enemy from the inside out, that's the best way to defeat them!"

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, came up with his own definition of the IRS.

"Somebody asked me recently, 'well what's the IRS mean?' I said, 'It's Really Sickening. That's what it means to me. It's Really Sickening'."

While organizers were promoting the rally as the tea party movement's biggest event since 2010, the turnout was smaller than expected. Many blamed the smaller audience on the fact it was happening midweek on a Wednesday.

"The tea party never went away," said Bob Mason, one of the attendees. "We just paid more attention at home."

Mason was dressed in colonial garb with a bright blue jacket and matching tri-corner hat. Most attendees though opted for the traditional yellow "Don't tread on me" t-shirt.

– CNN's Eric Marrapodi and Erin McPike contributed to this report.


Filed under: IRS • Michele Bachmann • Rand Paul • Tea Party • Ted Cruz • Washington D.C.
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    And in all of your reporting CNN, you fail to mention the FACT that the guy behind this whole mess in the Cincinnatti office is a CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN.

    June 19, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. rs

    Idiots leading idiots. The more information that comes out about the IRS, the TEA PARTY "social welfar"e applications, and the left-leaning groups who received similar treatment and didn't get 501 (c) 4 status, the less and less this scandal has. Then again, what else does the GOP have but bluster and lies? They've done nothing for 5 years.

    June 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    I am convinced that conservatives are brain dead. The real scandal is Issa's witch hunt.

    June 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The Associated Press reports that Holly Paz (pictured), "a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status," told congressional investigators that she personally reviewed "20 to 30 applications."

    June 19, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    You wingnuts do realize that there is no scandal, don't you?

    June 19, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The lies and misinformation provided by the IRS officials does prove one thing, that they're hiding something and you know it's pretty big.

    June 19, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The IRS has already apologized for this. One doesn't apologize for nothing.

    There's much more to this IRS scandal.

    June 19, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Denise

    Thanks for bringing this to me on a sunny afternoon! It sure beats Comedy Central! Pull up a chair, have some popcorn and let's all watch the teatards!

    June 19, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Denise

    Keep protesting based on lies and innuendos. It correlates to more votes for your opponents.

    June 19, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Mike Wallace

    Get a job... bunch of pathetic freeloaders pretending to want smaller government.

    June 19, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Steven

    "Thousands of tea party activists gathered Wednesday outside the Capitol in loud protest of the Internal Revenue Service, seeking to keep the beleaguered agency's scandal afloat nearly six weeks after the news first broke."
    Seriously?
    Your opening belies your prejudice Ashley. The demonstrators were there to remind people of the criminal abuse of power the IRS perpetrated against US Citizens and the administration that turned a blind eye to it. Your one "attempt" at objectivity was:
    "IRS officials have repeatedly said that the scrutinizing of tea party groups was not done out of political bias.
    But the activists gathered Wednesday were not so convinced."
    First IRS officials said it was 2 rogue agents, a lie, then it was just a few field offices, another lie, now we find out there's folks in Washington D.C. involved after they assured us all it never went that far, yet another lie. But you put forth their argument of incompetence over abuse. Really Ashley, get your head out of the administrations briefs and smell the coffee. You're being used.

    June 19, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    the turnout was smaller than expected. Many blamed the smaller audience on the fact it was happening midweek on a Wednesday.

    "The tea party never went away," said Bob Mason, one of the attendees.
    -------------------------------------------------
    The turnout was embarrassing at best. They had more congress critters that should've been inside congress earning their paychecks than attendees. A bunch of old people and Red states welfare recipients looking for the Koch brothers hand-out.
    The fact that you feel compelled to say that you never went away only confirms that yes you have.
    You've done nothing but try your damnest to bring America to a screeching halt and the majority in this country aren't going for it.
    I hope to God they're not on the metro when I go into town for cocktails and dinner tonight.
    Pestilent pests.

    June 19, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Denise

    Maybe we'll see some great signs and more pictures on the evening news! My favorite one during the Affordable Healthcare Act hearings was "Keep your hand off of my Medicare; down with socialism!

    June 19, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Denise

    There's much more to this indeed! And Mitt will win by a landslide too!

    June 19, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    For sure Denise, especially on CNN and Fox!
    My favorite? Oh who could ever forget a picture of our President in a casket.
    Talk about a bunch of unpatriotic, Koch-funded, pestilent pests.

    June 19, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Liberal

    I admit the IRS is in VERY serious trouble.

    I also believe the administration is behind it all.

    June 19, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. Denise

    Keeping with Jeff Foxxworthy's them, you might be a tea partier if you:

    Wrap yourself in the flag, while advocating armed resistance to the government or secession from the Union!

    Find that rational thoughts and facts give you headaches!

    Can never remember the difference between socialism and fascism!

    Protest taxation without representation in front of Congressional building!

    Think the answer to illegal immigration is to jail em all and let God sort it out!

    Think Sean Hannity is going soft!

    Think John Boehner has a really great tan!

    Carry a handgun into church to listen to the sermon!

    Think Fred Phelps is generally right in his ideas but just comes on a little strong!

    June 19, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    CNN is on a roll today. First, they continue to blatantly ignore the full transcript Cummings released that proves DC, the WH and Obama had nothing to do with this entire IRS nontroversy, and which proves that Issa was selectively quoting out of context and cherry-picking from that transcript and others in order to manipulate the narrative and misinform the public to justify his witch hunt. Next, they completely ignore today's Pew poll results, despite citing Pew all the time, which show Obama's approval rating is remaining stable and which greatly call into question the CNN polling that showed a massive drop, which CNN was gloating over yesterday. Third time's the charm...what'll it be, CNN?

    June 19, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    Nothing but a big ole klan rally..... I'm curious.....was there a cross burning as well?

    June 19, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    ""Frederick Douglass was lucky enough to grow up in a house where he was taught to read, and to write, and to think."

    Yes, his "OWNERS" were ever so kind. Keep up the outreach, GOPers/Teatrolls....it's going swimmingly, I assure you....

    June 19, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Denise

    Dominican mama We never go away said one attendee. No, you never go away but neither does the yappin dog next door barking in the middle of the night. Everyone stops listening and goes back to sleep!

    June 19, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "I also believe the administration is behind it all."

    Too bad that's been disproven in black and white based on the transcripts of the "secret" interviews Issa has been conducting, but then using to cherry-pick out-of-context quotes in order to misrepresent what the testimony really shows. GOod thing Rep. Cummings released the entire transcript yesterday and put the lie to Issa's and the GOP/Teatrolls' witch hunts. Of course, you'd not know about that transcript if you only go to Faux News and CNN.

    June 19, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Denise

    Yes, karma is a beautiful thing. Karl Rove received the poorest return ever on his investment in the election. Koch brothers and Adelson couldn't buy the election!

    June 19, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    sheep that obey on command. wait til more comes out that exposes the non-scandal that it is. they'll still deny it. just like the birthers.

    June 19, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. California

    "I'd feel sorry for democrats if they weren't so stupid" ~JG

    June 19, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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