September 8th, 2009
03:36 PM ET
13 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. ComradeObummer

    Taxed Enough Already....

    Yeah. I support this group.

    OBUMMER and his liberal DUMOcrats all the time want somebody else to pay for their PORK.

    Say NO to taxes. Say NO to SOCIALSIM.

    Impeach Obummer now.

    September 7, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Ken

    You guys are killing the Republican party. It is becoming a fringe party of outcasts who get their information from Right-wing talk radio. Keep it up, please. The mainstream American People are just to smart for the divide and conquer politics of the far right.

    September 7, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  3. liberal in Madison, WI

    The Nutjob express coming thru your town!

    September 7, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. Art Moon

    Joe Wierzbicki, strategist with the conservative PAC Our Country Deserves Better, fits my definition of a demogogue: " who preaches doctrines he knows to be true to men he knows to be idiots."
    (H.L. Mencken, 1888-1956)

    September 7, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. mmd

    on which bus will lou dobbs arrive.

    September 7, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. Duke

    Looks like all the residents of Rock Ridge are goin on a tour! They got the wagons packed, Mongo fed his ox, and Lilly Von Shtup has on her cloggin shoes. They aint a gonna put up with Sherrif Bart runnin the country. I would bet money that if someone put up a William J Lepetomane memorial toll booth in the middle of nowhere, they would actually stop and put a dime in it. Yeehaw, go tea baggers. Take yer country back!

    September 7, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. abraxis

    Sorry, I drink British tea!

    September 7, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. suzyku

    These foolish tea party nuts need to get a life!

    September 7, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is silly. This is a GOP operation. The idea that people are taxed enough isn't true... Have you looked at other places in the world? Their total tax rates are much higher and make us look silly. We actually need to get the government more effecientent in delievering services.

    September 7, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  10. proud dem in nc

    Tea Bag wack jobs. I think their tea is too strong. They scream about taxes, and yet their taxes have not even gone up. That's what you get when you listen to and believe the right wing losers like Hush Limbaugh, Hannity and that loser Beck.

    September 7, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  11. Keith in Austin

    My guess is that Obama and his left wing agenda will deny the voice of the majority of Americans and ram his socialistic healthcare plan down their throats. In his mind and liberal elitists is that THEY now what's best for us. Everyone WILL remember these unscrupulous actions on the next election dates!

    September 7, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  12. willie mcd

    RIP the Republican Party.
    The GOP has been reduced, by their own folly, to just a couple of buses filled with a rabble.
    You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can even fool some of the people all of the time. You can't fool all of the people all of the time.
    Sometimes you are just two buses of fools.

    September 7, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  13. Georgia

    The name of this PAC is appropriate: American's Deserve Better.

    America deserves to have these Fat Old White Uneducated Male Tea Baggers just go home where they belong and play their Banjo's!

    September 7, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  14. center left

    " And we the people" should take aim at Foxs News and Glen Beck.
    We cannot allow a foreign business owner like Muddock and a self discribe addict like Beck to hijack our polictics. WRITE TO THE FCC.GOV AND FILE A COMPLAINT here an example:

    My complaint is with Foxs News and the Glen Beck programming. Foxs News has a monopoly in some media markets and is a threat to our democratic system. A Foreign person or business should not have that much influence over our media market it's dangerous. The Glen Beck programming keep insisting that the President of the United State wants to destroy America. I don't think in time of wars this is appropriate behavior for our children and nation. FCC you must put a stop to this, I am asking you to help and protect the integrity of media who play by the rules. I think you in advance for you help.

    September 7, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. Liz

    "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."

    What does that mean?

    I am very confused on the purpose of the "tea parties"
    Are they protesting taxation with representation? Seriously-what is the purpose? Can they write up a white paper or something?

    September 7, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. scott

    Good! Be Forceful & Heavy Handed! I GOP & Right Wing Extremist have gone all out with "NO" everything...Rejecting BiPartisan attempts...of course the recent Insanity over the President Encouraging the nations youth...

    Time for our President & the Democratic Party to Unite & start Leading Forcefully.. Keep pushing Mr. President....People forget its only been 6 months...this resistance was expected. You are doing a Great Job!

    September 7, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. SamSunny

    Don't these people ever have to work? Or are they all on welfare and social security?

    September 7, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  18. peter vaguely

    More conservative NUTJOBS! I love you guys. Keep up the high level of "stupid" you communicate so well. Oh, and by the way...THE SKY IS FALLING!

    September 7, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. S M R

    Could you imagine living inside the skin of a Republican. eeewwww

    September 7, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. I am Newt's ex wife

    I thought the TEA Party was for ALL people who want to control spending and taxes.....silly me.....all we have here is a repeat of the Swift Boat Veterans.

    This crowd is othing but a well funded group of right wing nut jobs who just want to destroy whoever is in their way.

    Otherwise this so called patriots would have been out to lynch Bush almst three years ago. What hypocrisy.

    Will the American people ever learn

    This crowd even has the anti abortion lunatic running loose.


    Don't you have any shame tea ....or is it pee parties???

    September 7, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. bozo the obama

    Hasta la bye-bye Arlen !!

    September 7, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  22. Kim Scaccia

    Thanks to all the folks on the Tea party Express. I am proud to be one of the thousands of people that waited on I-80 trying to get to the rally. It was worth every minute of it. The good people of Illinois have woken up & spoken. Polital leaders whether Liberal, conservative, Democrat , Rebulican, Libertarian...All best start listening to your constituients.

    September 7, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  23. John

    "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."

    We've ALL seen the pictures of these 'Tea-Baggers' carrying signs that said "Obamacare: The line to die starts here!"

    So to even imply that they are not hyper-partisan is a spit in the face to any intelligent American.

    You fall into the GOP camp because you are all card carrying Republicans, not because you are conservatives. There is a BIG difference.

    September 7, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  24. Gary's Opinion

    Wouldn't need tea parties if the government would listen to the people and act responsibly.

    No new taxes!
    No new deficit spending!
    No new bailouts!
    No public option in healthcare reform!
    No more pork spending!

    This is why we had a tea party 230 years ago and why we need them today....LISTEN TO US. LISTEN TO US. LISTEN TO US!

    September 7, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  25. Peter

    two can play that game.

    September 7, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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