Tea party says OFA remake of its symbol is trolling
March 25th, 2014
12:00 PM ET
7 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. alfy

    notice it is "my" obamacare, not "our" obamacare. subtly adding to the divisiveness instead of unifying

    March 25, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Yes It's Not

    Judson said, "When your enemy is self destructing..." I find it odd that this gentleman seems to think that other Americans, AMERICANS, are his enemy. I did 3 tours. I have seen first hand what a real enemy is. A person with a different political ideology than you is not an enemy. A guy trying to kill you with a rocket is. Keep things in perspective there Mr. Phillips. Those Americans are Americans first, Liberals second. Just like you are an American first, and Tea Party affiliate second.

    March 25, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. Silence DoGood

    @Hector Slagg
    EH, we gonna tread on your "Obama Care". We just ain't gonna pay for it. That's up to you.
    ---------
    Violating English grammar and US law in one comment. This is the Poster child for the conservative base. Interestingly enough, this is the group that wants English as the official language.

    March 25, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. mike

    Uh...that symbol pre-dates the tea-derps by over 200 years. They may use it, but it's not theirs to claim.

    March 25, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. happynurse

    Is there stil a "Tea Party"?

    March 25, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Russ

    "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.
    **********************************************************************
    How about some real solutions from the Republicans instead of fighting against what we do have. Any solutions...anything!!! Since there haven't been any to date except go back to the old system where those of us with insurance paid for all of you without it. I don't see the difference here except more people will have insurance. Idiots, tea party idiots.

    March 25, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  7. devilsadvocate01

    Don't tread on the stuff I get for free, paid for by other people!

    March 25, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    Uh-oh. Amy Kremer and Judson Phillips. Aren't these just two of many who co-opted the T.E.A. acronym in their personal ambition to make buckets full of money for themselves and be seen as Very Important People all across America's underbelly of politics?

    March 25, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. ART

    All Tea baggers unite one grab the one on the left the other can have the right

    March 25, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Robert Lemasters

    One of my Virginia ancestors had that symbol and words painted in white on his deerskin hunting shirt during our War for Independence which he fought in against the tyranny and slavery of the British Crown. Only if those who display such symbols today had the where with all to live up to those words with action and not simply meaningless display...bunch of freak show like Wall-Mart shoppers not to be taken seriously in the least.

    March 25, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. rs

    Given the TEA Party has made a short career of misappropriating American History (and never mind that they are a front for the Koch Brothers) to their own ends, perhaps they should just shut up.

    March 25, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. S.B. Stein

    My question about the teapublicans and access to health care (health insurance, paying for doctors and medicines, etc) is what do they want to make sure that people get affordable coverage to get healthcare? Do they think that all people can pull themselves up by boot straps (real or imagined)? I hope that they would care for their fellow Americans. If they really cared about their fellow Americans being healthy so that they can work, then form a massive non-profit health insurance company that can cover everyone so the government doesn't have to do it.

    March 25, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. MSmith

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thanks OFA.

    March 25, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Iiksskinaa

    If the naysayers are so absolutely certain that ACA is an absolute failure, then may they have the strength to step aside and let the 'train-wreck' happen. I want to see if it is really going to implode on itself without the opposition. This is the only way the tea partiers are going to prove their words, rather than be ever-so-willing to speak for all Americans (who are more and more seemingly overhauled by a singular demographic). I am starting to think that the tea party[ies] (i forget how many there actually are) are too afraid to see ACA succeed. Stand Aside and we will see if your words actually arise to fruition. The only thing more American than the Tea Party are Native Americans, funny how I do not see the particular faction supporting the right in any sense.

    March 25, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Steve

    In Mother America, Obamacare Treads on YOU!

    March 25, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    Bye-bye, Tea Party. Write when you find work.

    March 25, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Arthur in the Garden!

    Love it!

    March 25, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Love it... But the Tea snakes are not gonna be happy...

    March 25, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Insanity_Prevails

    "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.
    Obamacare IS the "real solution." That's what the Democratic party DID. They found a real solution, and they fought politically to instate it in our government. Meanwhile, the right wing has tried–unsuccessfully–to repeal the bill...how many times now? 47? At least liberals did something productive ONCE, instead of screwing up 47 times.

    March 25, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Joe Mama

    Oh man the irony is mind boggling. Don't tread on my national mandate. Hilarious.

    March 25, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    "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."
    -------------------------------------
    If your against subsidizing We The People, then I guess your against subsidizing Big Agriculture, Big Pharma, Big Oil, etc.? Give me a break.

    March 25, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Government Waste Rules

    Kind of clever.

    March 25, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Tim Blackwell

    Liberals can only copy and paste, of course this is the best they can come up with.

    March 25, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Hogan's Goat

    They have been telling each other "we are the only REAL AMERICANS" and "everyone else is wicked and hateful" and "we are so IMPORTANT just like the Founding Fathers" for so long that it has driven them insane. You teabags need to get out more and talk to actual working people, and stop threatening us normal folks before we have you all rounded up and examined by psychiatrists. Pretending there is a huge move underway to take their guns from you is a typical symptom of paranoia.

    March 25, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  25. Jerry

    Way to go Larry L. You said it all!

    March 25, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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