Tea party says OFA remake of its symbol is trolling
March 25th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
9 months ago

Tea party says OFA remake of its symbol is trolling

Washington (CNN) - So what do some leaders in the tea party think about a group that supports President Barack Obama's agenda using a key symbol of the grassroots conservative movement to advocate for the health care law?

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery and in this case, it is no different," Amy Kremer, chair of the Tea Party Express, one of the largest and most politically active national tea party organizations, told CNN.


"I laughed when I saw it," said Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, which commands a large following in the movement.

And FreedomWorks, the national grassroots organizing group that's supported the movement over the past five years, appeared to describe the move as sophomoric.

"It's not pledge week, these are peoples lives we are talking about," said FreedomWorks Communications Director Jackie Bodnar.

Organizing For Action, which was formed in early 2013 out of the remnants of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, started Monday to mail to supporters bumper stickers that spoof the Gadsden flag, which has been informally adopted by the tea party movement. The historic flag, which dates back to the American Revolution, depicts a rattlesnake in a position ready to strike over a yellow background, with the words "Don't tread on me" at the bottom.

OFA's bumper sticker, which replaces the rattlesnake with a coiled stethoscope with the words "Don't tread on my Obamacare" below, is being mailed to those who have connected with the group through Facebook.

The OFA promotion is part of a bigger push to boost enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, ahead of the March 31 deadline. Tea party activists have long opposed the health care measure.

"While OFA is mocking the tea party and American people who proudly fly the Gadsden Flag, they need to realize We The People will not surrender to this administration's attack on our freedom and liberty, through the overhaul of our health care system. Let their little stethoscope sticker supporting Obamacare be a reminder of that," Kremer told CNN.

"OFA is so desperate for a message of any kind, they want to troll off of one of the Tea Party's main symbols. There is an old truism, when you enemy is self destructing, don't get in their way. I think they wanted to provoke a reaction from the Tea Party. But Obamacare and Obama are sinking the Democrats, OFA and the left, I say just stay out of the way and watch them fail," Phillips added.

"I'd like to see some real solutions from the Democrats and the White House, rather than twerking GIFs and ironic bumper stickers," added Bodnar.

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Filed under: 2014 • Health care • Healthcare • Obamacare • OFA • Organizing for America • Tea Party • Tea Party movement
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "they need to realize We The People will not..."

    ....stop using "We The People" as a go-to speaking device that announces to world that we're full to the brim with delusions that our opinions represent everyone (or are even in the majority) and that we incubate ridiculous fantasies of leading the righteous vanguard of a revolutionary movement akin to that masterminded by the founding fathers.

    March 25, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Drew

    You mad Tea Party??

    March 25, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Anthony

    The Gadsden Flag does not belong to the Tea Party. It is in the public domain. That is why the Tea Party can use it. So can everyone else.

    March 25, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. HenryMiller

    "Don't tread on my Obamacare"

    "Your" Obamacare? You mean the rolling catastrophe that forces others to pay for your medical insurance?

    People getting Obamacare subsidies are, plain and simple, stealing from the rest of us. People forced to pay outrageous rates and deductibles just so others can get lower rates and deductibles are being stolen from.

    It's hard to imagine people so morally bankrupt, so lacking in integrity and self-respect, as to not only accept hand-outs ultimately paid for, involuntarily, by others, but to demand such hand-outs. But I guess such people actually exist. Sad.

    March 25, 2014 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. O'drama ya Mama

    "OFA is so desperate for a message of any kind, they want to troll off of one of the Tea Party's main symbols. There is an old truism, when you enemy is self destructing, don't get in their way. I think they wanted to provoke a reaction from the Tea Party. But Obamacare and Obama are sinking the Democrats, OFA and the left, I say just stay out of the way and watch them fail," Phillips added.

    Talk the talk but when you walk you try and repeal it 50+ times.

    March 25, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. sonny chapman

    These guys take themselves WAY too seriously.

    March 25, 2014 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Oh Boo Hoo... The idiots who are dragging our country down are upset. Cry me a river!

    March 25, 2014 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Jon

    Love it ! Looking forward to getting my sticker to proudly display on my truck. I've personally benefited from the Affordable Care Act. While I was one of the many who ended up paying MORE for insurance. I've gained Rx coverage which I never was even offered before & I finally no longer have a preexisting condition exclusion.

    March 25, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    It's Organizing for Action. Stop sucking at news.

    March 25, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Silence DoGood

    Where does the Tea Party get off claiming they own historic icons? I think the liberal out there need to press the point a bit more that a lot about the Tea Party is NOT what the founders of this country envisioned. The TP website has the American flag displayed on to it – I suppose no one else can use that?

    March 25, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Hector Slagg

    EH, we gonna tread on your "Obama Care". We just ain't gonna pay for it. That's up to you.

    March 25, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  12. J Russ

    they are treating us like we are four year olds at a birthday party

    March 25, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Larry L

    Humorous the Tea Party drone from Freedom Works wants "real solutions" rather than bumper stickers. The right-wing has offered no specific solutions for healthcare, jobs, immigration, the wars, the recession, the failing auto, housing, and financial industries, Social Security, global climate change, women's rights, or any other issue of importance to America. They're not about tea... just whine.

    March 25, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    "We The People will not surrender to this administration's attack on our freedom and liberty, through the overhaul of our health care system."
    -------------------------------------–
    When you say "We The People," who are you referring to? Are you saying that if we're not with you, we're not one of "The People?" And as far as the overhaul of the healthcare system, call it what you may, but the status quo was unacceptable. Sitting on your butt and not offering solutions doesn't bring down the number uninsured.

    March 25, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Swedge70

    "I'd like to see some real solutions from the Democrats and the White House..." added Bodnar.
    -------------
    I've been saying for years that the right apparently has no sense of irony. This right here? Further evidence.

    March 25, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Know Your Subject

    I think it's great. 95% of people will glance at the sticker and think it is a Gadsden flag. Thanks for the free promotion, OFA!

    March 25, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. polite centrist

    They talk about how many people are opposed to Obamacare, but they seldom mention that 1/3 of them are opposed because it doesn't go far enough. We should have a single-payer system, just like the rest of the civilized nations.

    March 25, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Brian-PA

    But wait!
    Isn't this the same groups who modified and miss-used the Obama campaign O logo to their advantage?
    NoBama ring a bell? Sounds like what's good for the goose is good for the gander right?

    March 25, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Serious Truth

    I am shocked that someone still wants to be associated with Obamacare.

    March 25, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. J.A. Miller

    This isn't the property of the tea party. The tea party took the Don't Tread on Me symbol from the American Revolution. It belongs to all Americans to interpret as they see fit. In fact, I remember that some anti-Vietnam War protesters used the symbol to rally people around their cause.

    March 25, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. Real America

    Yeah, that symbol doesn't belong to the Tea Party.

    March 25, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. thedoctor

    Thank God for my Obamacare. I think it's historic legislation that will improve our healthcare system, which by the way is ranked 37th in the world, not first like the talking heads at Faux News shrilly shout from the rooftops. .

    March 25, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. mcklapp

    After flying 'their' flag since November 2008 and spewing their lies, distortions and slanders, nothing that band of ill-informed, semi-literate racists says should be taken seriously.
    They DO NOT understand liberty, personal freedom or American History. They just want to dominate the public square by repressing the rights of those with whom they disagree.

    March 25, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. Silence DoGood

    @Jon
    Love it ! Looking forward to getting my sticker to proudly display on my truck. I've personally benefited from the Affordable Care Act. While I was one of the many who ended up paying MORE for insurance. I've gained Rx coverage which I never was even offered before & I finally no longer have a preexisting condition exclusion.
    -----------
    No – you are supposed to be sad that you have better coverage and no fear of preexisting conditions. Hannity said be sad, Fox said be sad, Rush says be sad. Now be sad! And you sound smart too! Be sad and stupid so the Tea Party can tell you how to feel.

    March 25, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. StephM

    Grass roots movement? Astro-turf is more like it. I thought everyone knew that by now.

    March 25, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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