First on CNN: Amy Kremer resigns from Tea Party Express
April 18th, 2014
08:13 AM ET
3 months ago

First on CNN: Amy Kremer resigns from Tea Party Express

Updated 10:14 a.m. ET, 4/18/2014

(CNN) – Amy Kremer, the Tea Party Express chairman who's played a major role in elections for the past five years, is resigning.

"This has been a really difficult decision for me, but the time has come for me to leave Tea Party Express," Kremer said Friday.

The group is one of the largest and most politically active national tea party organizations. It got its start in 2009 as a bus tour that crisscrossed the country multiple times as it held rallies and supported conservative candidates.

In the 2012 election cycle, the group partnered with CNN to host the first tea party Republican presidential debate.

The timing of her departure comes as the Tea Party Express plans to spend four days in Florida’s 19th Congressional District to support conservative Curt Clawson in a special election.

But Kremer says she doesn’t want to dedicate her time to a district that already leans Republican and on a race that will have to take place again in November.

Instead, Kremer will be doing consulting for businessman Matt Bevin, who’s challenging Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s GOP primary on May 20.

“This should be ground zero for the movement,” Kremer told CNN. “A U.S. senator definitely has more of an impact on our debt than a congressman that potentially will spend eight months in Washington, and my heart tells me that I should be on the ground focused on competitive Senate races.”

Still, Kremer described her split with Tea Party Express as amicable.

“The Tea Party Express doesn't plan to come here (Kentucky), and that's OK. I made this decision, it was time, and I am where I am,” she said. “I wish Tea Party Express all the best, but it was time to move on.”

She compared Bevin to other conservatives in the Senate who have bucked the GOP establishment, such as Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee.

“They're having daggers put in their back, not by the Democrats but by members of their own caucus,” she said. “That effort is being led by Mitch McConnell and the only way to stop that is to defeat Mitch McConnell.”

While polls show the five-term incumbent has a sizable polling and fundraising advantage, Bevin enjoys the support of major outside conservative groups.

Kremer also plans to get involved in GOP primaries in Kansas, North Carolina, and Mississippi—the latter of which is considered the most likely for the sitting incumbent to lose his seat to a challenger. Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel is running against six-term Sen. Thad Cochran.

“When Thad Cochran went to Washington, I was in diapers,” Kremer said. “You give these men six more years, what are they going to do in six more years that they haven't already been given an opportunity to do?”

She added she's confident Republicans can take back control of the Senate, and while she "may not be on a bus" anymore, she's still be "working on the same thing I've been working on the past five years."


Filed under: Tea Party Express
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. devil's advocate

    You mean the rallies that are arranged, paid for, people hired to show up, signs already made, and press notified grass roots movement, hilarious! I thought those were called campaigns? These are the ones who believed George w when he convinced them in order to catch foreign terrorists we had to spy on Americans, genius I tell you! And now they rally against Obama over it, and that is why we say the gop voters are uneducated, and uninformed. Benghazi, IRS, NSA, anyone?

    April 18, 2014 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    I smell a scandal brewing. Call Darrell Issa!!!

    April 18, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  3. S. B. Stein

    I hope that she understands that compromise isn't a bad thing. It seems that the "teapublicans" can't do that which doesn't help the country. It is good that they have ideas, but it shouldn't be the only thing the country is thinking.

    April 18, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. willliam wachira

    Amy Kemer; I respect you.LOL!

    April 18, 2014 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. The Right Left

    She is looking for an express bus that is more looney than the current one. This one is no longer as crazy as she had hoped for.

    April 18, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  6. Winning

    Leaving the Express bus for a slow moving ice cream truck, it looks like. Fomenting rebellion looks like it's hungry work.

    April 18, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. bobo

    It was great when the people rose up! Sick and tried of a Government that only wanted to grow bigger and Tax more!

    April 18, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Peace

    There is no any month which has brought very bad news to republicans like April 2014.
    1. All good news about Obamacare have been flowing like tap water one after the other.
    2. Jeb Bush who they expected to take over the place of Christie, came with "Act of Love" talk which really clicked their nerves.
    3. Now this woman who have been the champion or caretaker of Tea Party and most of the time fighting with interviewers on National TV, is now saying Adious. What republicans have to do now? It is black out everywhere.

    April 18, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Anonymous

    "In the 2012 election cycle, the group partnered with CNN to host the first tea party Republican presidential debate."

    Why does CNN to this day still ply the tea party as a separate entity from the Republican party? The people running the tea party are nothing but the most fanatic of anti-government haters and in your face Republican extremists unwilling to compromise within even the very same Republican party they are attempting to overturn all the while using that political party to garner donations and media attention from the dupes willing to offer both.

    April 18, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. J W Wilson

    "I'm excited about engaging in competitive Senate primaries" What competitive Senate primaries? Surely she can't mean that any Tea Party candidates have any real chance of winning a primary?

    April 18, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. smith1

    Moving on to what. the funny farm??? Not making enough money? or is a scandal brewing? She will not be missed. Tea party is a joke,

    April 18, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  12. 2L

    She wanted to move in a different direction – in other words back to the traditional Republicans, b/c this wasn't working out as well as she had hoped.

    April 18, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. ritmocojo

    Decided the 'Express' is really going nowhere but over a cliff.

    April 18, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. don in albuquerque

    Winning
    Nah, probably a wiener car. I smell a scandal in the air.

    April 18, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. devil's advocate

    Who would have ever thought they would see a scenario in which a McConnell win was favorable?

    April 18, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. Lizzie

    devil's advocate, "voters are uneducated, and uninformed" no the democrats have a hold on them, don't worry.
    There I thought liberals are the nicest, kindest, caring and tolerable people in the world, guess I was wrong.

    April 18, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. Jstic

    The TP has an approval rating of about 15% and their rallies and political candidates they support have become a joke. Matt Bevin is behind McConnell in Kentucky by 30 points and the primary is in May. Good luck Amy, you have gone from bad to worse.

    April 18, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Tampa Tim

    What happened? Did the check from the Kochs bounce? Is her job being outsourced too?

    April 18, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Silence DoGood

    @J W Wilson
    "I'm excited about engaging in competitive Senate primaries" What competitive Senate primaries? Surely she can't mean that any Tea Party candidates have any real chance of winning a primary?
    -------------
    GOP has been trying to talk the TP down and not run loony candidates. There have already been cases where a TP has beat a GOP only to go on and lose to the DEM. So I am rooting for the TP to run and run loony.

    April 18, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Lizzie – If you cannot accept that the devil's advocate's post is true, then yes, you are wrong again.

    April 18, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    "Amy Kremer, the Tea Party Express chairman who's played a major role in elections for the past five years, is resigning."

    Funny, she looks like a chairwoman to me ...but I'm sure that's OK with her, being a "traditional values" kinda gal ...

    April 18, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. smith

    @devil`s ad.-Were all those anti-Bush rallies fake as well?What about Katrina, 9/11, and Iraq were those fake scandals?

    April 18, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It was great when the people rose up! Sick and tried of a Government that only wanted to grow bigger and Tax more!
    -------------------------------------------------
    When these things emerged into the light of day taxes were the lowest they'd been in decades.

    April 18, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    These are the ones who believed George w when he convinced them in order to catch foreign terrorists we had to spy on Americans, genius I tell you! And now they rally against Obama over it, and that is why we say the gop voters are uneducated, and uninformed. Benghazi, IRS, NSA, anyone?
    -------------------------------------------------
    yes please, with a side order of Fast and Furious if you don't mind.

    April 18, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  25. RandyIA

    devil's advocate

    You mean the rallies that are arranged, paid for, people hired to show up, signs already made, and press notified grass roots movement, hilarious! I thought those were called campaigns? These are the ones who believed George w when he convinced them in order to catch foreign terrorists we had to spy on Americans, genius I tell you! And now they rally against Obama over it, and that is why we say the gop voters are uneducated, and uninformed. Benghazi, IRS, NSA, anyone?

    ===================================

    You realize that the Tea Party movement started as a protest of the Wall Street and Bank Bailouts, 6 years after the Patriot Act was voted in by congress right? Who ever you are using for a propaganda source, needs to do a little fact checking.

    April 18, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
1 2 3