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

    "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."

    Seriously...these people are, literally, mentally unstable.

    March 25, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. EatRunDive

    Here in Texas, Tea Partyers pay an extra fee for "Don't Tread on Me" license plates.

    They want me to know how much they hate taxes by paying an extra one!!!

    March 25, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Tony

    "They're not about tea...just whine." –Larry L.

    I'd say that's a fairly astute observation. They're a pretty short-sighted bunch of hateful reactionaries, for the most part. Not well-informed, but very embittered and sour.

    March 25, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. david saint

    lol they claim they are for small govt and liberty, but want to force women to report every single miscarriage? (KS law being pushed currently) mentally unstable doesnt quite cover it.

    March 25, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    "liberals can copy and paste.." Romney care into Obama care. And the Tea baggers love one and hate the other. Wonder why?

    March 25, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Econ301

    "The Gadsden Flag does not belong to the Tea Party."

    I'm so happy to see that another poster had my thoughts already.

    If you want to use something in the Public Doman as your symbol you can't complain when someone else uses it too.

    March 25, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Ken

    The master Trolls at the Tea Party said what?

    March 25, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. 2purple79

    Liberals are hacks.

    March 25, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. ghostwriter

    But we will support a candidate who put this attack on our freedoms and liberty through the overhaul of our healthcare system in place in MA and said that such an attack would be great for our country.

    March 25, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Insanity_Prevails

    @Tim Blackwell
    Right, they can only copy and paste. Kinda like how the Tea Party stole both the name "tea party" and the flag, without the creativity to augment either of them whatsoever.

    March 25, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. OldSchool

    The most humorous part is they refer to the Tea Party as a "grassroots movement" when in reality it is a concerted effort by a handful of very wealthy people via PAC contributions...

    March 25, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. FrmrMrine

    What a bunch of whiners! Not only is it free speech, but the symbol has been around for over 200 years before the tea partiers started using it. And they claim everyone else wants to take over their rights. Losers.

    March 25, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. ptbarnum

    These folks would complain if you hung them with a silk rope.

    March 25, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Jason F

    The Gadsden Flag is as old as the Country itself. Even Metallica borrowed the snake for the Black album in the 90's. And you know how they are about intellectual property rights.

    March 25, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  15. AlanMorlock

    It's not like the Tea party made up that symbol to begin with.

    March 25, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    There was no Tea Party before Obama, and there will be no Tea Party after he leaves office. All this horsespit about "taxed enough already" is a smokescreen for their racist blathering. They just want to beat up a few black people. When they get into office all they do is posture and promise to overthrow the administration and then they do nothing and aren't re-elected.

    March 25, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    @QS
    "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."

    Seriously...these people are, literally, mentally unstable.
    ----------
    And they are dangerous to the rest of us! "I hope that's not where we're going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out." —Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle, floating the possibility of armed insurrection in a radio interview, Jan. 2010

    March 25, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. It Doesn't Matter Who I Am!

    "Imitation is the highest form of flattery and in this case, it is no different," Amy Kremer, chair of the Tea Party Express

    Amy, Just thought you might like to know that they're not imitating you....They're Mocking you!!!!!!!!!! So don't be flattered.

    March 25, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. rockysfan

    Unless you copyrighted it, which I seriously doubt, you don't own it tea party. So, please, get over yourself. The rest of the country is trying to do the same. YOU have done more damage to this country than Ronnie or Dubya ever did!

    March 25, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Crampon

    Obama is the one treading on Obama Care.

    March 25, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. livinginva

    And when Republicans buy website domain names of Democratic candidates, it's not trolling?

    March 25, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. Mike

    It's laughable and a travesty that the Gadsden flag has been co-opted by a group of people so inept and filled with hate. They aren't even the party of "NO!" like the larger GOP. They are the party of "duh" and shouldn't be allowed to operate power tools, let alone the government. Unable to govern, see Palin, Sarah, et al., why would we listen to the hate-speech of cretins who literally want the government gone. Anachists at best, it's my hope that this unfortunate chapter in American history closes soon. Indeed, Don't Tread On Me, angry anti-government types. Start helping.

    March 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Crampon

    Ted Cruz wanted a one year delay, Obama gave a two year delay. Now who is treading on Obama Care?

    March 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  24. FedUpToo

    They pine for the days you could legally beat your wife to death and own slaves you raped.

    March 25, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. spudnik56

    The Tea Party...a sad, pitiful bunch...boohoo...

    March 25, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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