September 8th, 2009
03:36 PM ET
14 years ago

Tea Party Express takes aim at lawmakers

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Topping the group's target list in the Senate is current Democrat, and former moderate Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania."]Joliet, Illinois (CNN) - Organizers of the Tea Party Express bus tour arriving in Washington later this week planned their route to go though Democratic congressional districts they consider vulnerable.

"What we did was take a map of the United States and then we went head and pin pointed the members of congress that merited our attention and then we looked at those that might be politically vulnerable," said Joe Wierzbicki, a strategist with the conservative PAC Our Country Deserves Better, who are organizing the cross country Tea Party Express tour.

Topping the group's target list in the Senate is current Democrat, and former moderate Republican, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. The Tea Party Express makes four stops in Pennsylvania later this week.

"Arlen Specter has always been a top priority for us, because as long as you had a prominent Republican who was providing the Democrats the means to push through this massive expansion of government, that certainly made him a top priority," says Wierzbicki.

Other Democratic senators on the groups list include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Connecticut's Chris Dodd. The tour made five stops in Nevada, and plans three stops in Connecticut.

On the House side, first-term Michigan Democrats Mark Schauer and Gary Peters are on the group's target list. The tour plans four Michigan stops.

"We decided to do this tour across the country, mobilize the people in these communities, so that subsequent to this tour we can then go back and start prioritizing these targets for the express purpose of running ads and grassroots campaigns to defeat these members of Congress," said Wierzbicki.

The Our Country Deserves Better PAC says the Tea Party Express is not a partisan group.

"We are a non-partisan organization, we are an ideological organization," says Wierzbicki. "It's hard when you are a conservative organization not to fall into the GOP camp."

Wierzbicki points to Rep. Walt Minnick, a conservative Democrat from Idaho, as a candidate the group would consider backing. The Tea Party Express tour did not travel through Idaho.

"It's hard to imagine us supporting too many Democrats. It would be an isolated incident," Wierzbicki says. "We are more likely to find a bad Republican and try to replace him with a more conservative one."

To do that, Wierzbicki says they will be pressuring the GOP to find and promote conservative candidates.

The group plans on opposing moderate Republican Mark Kirk, the congressman from Illinois who is running for the Senate seat held by Democrat Roland Burris. They will also oppose Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican. Wierzbicki says both congressmen are too liberal.

"One of our goals is to fight that war in the Republican Party," says Wierzbicki. "To teach these people a lesson and send them a message."

Filed under: Arlen Specter • Popular Posts • Tea Party Express
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Alex

    I wouldn't trust an organization that invites Steve Anderson a so called "Baptist Pastor" who does an hour long sermon on how he wished Barack Obama would die to give a speech.

    September 7, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  2. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    Maybe they could sign up Joe the Plumber, put him in a pro wrestlers suit and take on all the pinko socialists-kind of like Congress before the first Civil War. Maybe he could even change his name to Joe the Polish Hammer! Tag team with Grassley, body slam Specter. Get Rep. King to sit on top of Weiner. Eye gouge Secretary Duncan for supporting the brain washing of our most innocent precious commodity.

    September 7, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  3. hare

    Oh good. for the GOP.

    September 7, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |

    I don't know why these guys are worried about taxes, they don't seem to have jobs.

    September 7, 2009 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  5. kman821

    What's the fare to jump on the "Whack Job Express"? If only these fools had a cohesive message ... their efforts might actually means something, but they don't and it doesn't!

    September 7, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  6. markus

    The Bigoted Tea Bag Express, on the road again!

    when're ya gonna get one of dat dem dere followers of yours who be carryin' pistols to town halls to use one'a dem things?

    Just wondering...can never tell with nutcases...

    September 8, 2009 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  7. Kirk

    Republicans once again spreading lies and falsehoods. Republicans have become baseless and nonproductive.

    September 8, 2009 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  8. payback

    .......Where was the "tea party express" when the republicans, were spending like drunking sailors? They got us envolved in two costly wars, tax cuts for the rich, and no health care reform.......remember, when a certain Democratic President, left office. We had a budget surplus. Or haven't you forgotten that....................

    September 8, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  9. Roger Franklin

    How annoying...i mean....thats such a disturbing thing to do. Just go wherever they feel like people are too liberal, but naw... it's not a partisan tactic. Right...

    September 8, 2009 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  10. Roger Franklin

    NOn partisan? Right...

    September 8, 2009 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  11. Sore losers

    Sore Losers

    September 8, 2009 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  12. Illinois Republican

    Right on brother:

    "One of our goals is to fight that war in the Republican Party," says Wierzbicki. "To teach these people a lesson and send them a message."

    The Republican base is with you. It's hard to find a true Republican in Illinois who plans to support Mark Kirk. The guy's no moderate. He's a liberal Dem with a phony "R" by his name.

    September 8, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  13. I. A. Frank

    Tea Party Express? Is Sarah Palin the Mad Hatter? Why don't they rename it the Train To Nowhere or the Bipolar Express?

    September 8, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  14. Ivan

    Will the repudgenican party please grow up! Yes, I spelled it that way...old, white, stubbornly stupid men...pudgy, leading equally stupid pudgeheads.

    September 8, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  15. Ted Tartaglia

    These tea baggers claim to be conservatives but they offered tacit support of the Bush administration borrow and spend policies that wrecked the economy of the United States. Now it seems they had an epiphany and are now concerned about deficit spending. What a joke!

    These losers are nothing but rabble rousers from the pseudo Christian evangelical base of the Repub Party trying to destroy President Obama. They are about as conservative as George W. Bush.

    September 8, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  16. Steve

    What a waste of gasoline and hot air.

    September 8, 2009 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  17. Big Al C.

    Yea 8 years of Bush was not enough for some big oil promoters. The amount of propaganda they produce is astounding. In the 70's the planet was running out of oil. Then a hurricane hit the gulf coast and all the refineries had to be shut down. And if oil prices are regulated by supply and demand let them explain why the price was at $5 a gallon a year ago and now it is less than half that price. It's not tea these buzzards are concerned with they also got their hands in the insurance companies. (Again in the 70's) We all had to wear seat belts to reduce insurance rates. Sure we saved some lives but it has cost us another freedom. You can bet the insurance companies have made out like bandits. The wire tapping is another one of their ideas now the government can keep a closer eye on each and everyone of us. Not that they are bias but they only really approve of white older men having a say in policy making. The women and ethnic votes they welcome (like little children they should be seen but not heard).

    September 8, 2009 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  18. wisconsin mom

    The "Tea Party Express".....omg...what a JOKE!!!

    September 8, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  19. DAN

    A fringe minority now; Vocal yes; but you can not be the party of the negative and win elections anymore. Most Americans see right through you now. Bye.

    September 8, 2009 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
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