September 12th, 2009
12:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Tea Party Express rallies against 'big government'


Tens of thousands marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday to protest health care reform. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the final stop of the Tea Party Express, thousands marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday to protest health care reform, higher taxes and what they see as out-of-control government spending.

The conservative advocacy group began their trip in Sacramento, California, and made its way across the country, hosting rallies in about 30 cities. Washington is the final destination. Members gathered on the west side of the Capitol on Saturday.

At each stop, the tour highlights members of Congress "who have voted for higher spending, higher taxes, and government intervention in the lives of American families and businesses," according to The Tea Party Express Web site.

One woman at the rally summed up her feelings about issues this way: "It's too much too fast."

A major theme of the rally was the push for less government.

"The government should be doing things that are authorized by the constitution; they should be doing things that the people want, not things that they just decide are nifty. We can't afford these things any more.

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Filed under: Tea Party Express
soundoff (156 Responses)
  1. Peggy Maloney

    Fine and well to march and criticize everything anyone else is trying to do to improve healthcare. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and just criticize. What is your alternative?? Believe me, the world will beat a path to your door if you got a better idea. And don't say just leave everything as is because the status quo is not working. If you can't lead or follow, then get out of the way! You have nothing to offer!

    September 12, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. Phil

    Good for them. I'm sure the dems will paint them as extremists even though they protested against Bush on a weekly basis.

    September 12, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. steven harnack

    Only when these nuts refuse any and all assistance from any government entity(police,fire,education,consumer protection, etc,) will they have any credibility to me.Until then they are just a bunch of sore losers who don't deserve the attention,outsized attention, their miniscule numbers are recieving.

    September 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. m jeff

    One year they supported what they call big spending, now this year they are against it. Wonder why?

    September 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. Landy

    The GOP are planning their own defeat and if they think the demagogy they are doing will work they should wait and see. I know that president and the democrat is in power at least for 8 years and nothing can not change that. Those demagog will be plunged into such confusion as they already are and they going to start blamming one another.

    September 12, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Larry

    This is a complete underestimation and lie. There's over 10 thousand just waiting for the restroom here at the Capitol! There is at least 2 million Americans here today.

    September 12, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. church of realism

    The thing that makes me laugh, whole-heartedly, at the teabaggers are the olds on Medicare who insist gov't stay out of healthcare. Huh? Really? It just shows you what mindless sheep these people are, bleating all over the place.

    September 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. steven harnack

    By the way, I'm going to assume that all these people are pro-choice since government interference in what you can or cannot do with your own body is certaily unwarrented government intrusion.Same thing with drug legalization right?

    September 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Bassman

    These people are doing the media's job for them. The tough questions were not being asked. Instead we heard stories about the Obama's dog. Indeed, a sleeping giant has awaken. Pres. Obama will scare us by saying 50% of American will lose their health coverage. Will the media report it as "scare tactics"? No, of course not.

    September 12, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Jamey

    Are these people even aware of the terrorist organizations who are the sponsor of this event?

    September 12, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. drod

    Where were these idiots when bush and company was raising the deficit and caused the economic meltdown? The one and only fact about these right wingers is hatred for a black man being in office.

    September 12, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. DonnaLee

    Thousands? Wow, what is that .00000001% of the US population? I'd say we better pay attention to this significant voting block ... not!

    September 12, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. The new GOP party of NO, racism, and hate is emerging

    Where were these fools for the last 8yrs?!

    GW Bush never paid for the war in Iraq!....
    GW Bush never accounted for the tax breaks for the wealthy!...
    GW Bush de-regulated the banking industry that caused the collapse of Lehmann Brothers....and caused this recession!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. ras

    I am upset at both parties as well. We need both sides to sit down and help work out our problems in this country. I am tired of hearing what we can't or shouldn't be doing about health care and economic issues. Lets sit down and find out what we can do! Stop the Blame Game get to work before things get worse!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. steve fielder

    What is very revealing is the fact that when they are in power, Republicans don't practice what they preach. This Tea Party rally seems to be dominated by people who speak the usual Republican Party mantras about "smaller government" and "lower taxes". In terms of fiscal responsibility, the last three Republican administrations saw the generation of record amounts of government debt, the largest numbers of bank failures, and the biggest increases in the size and authority of the Federal Government. The Bush Administration inherited a 350 billion -dollar surplus from the Clinton years and turned it into a 1.2 Trillion dollar deficit. They also managed to DOUBLE the size of the National Debt by enacting huge tax CUTS during wartime and financing the Iraq/Afghan conflicts with hundreds of billions of dollars borrowed from Saudi Kings and Chinese Communists. If these Tea Party people were serious about their aims; they should have started their protests about the year 2002.

    September 12, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. BKrause

    What these folks don't seem to get is that every one of the citizens of America ARE the government. Only way to get rid of government is, perhaps, a few less citizens. And maybe we can begin with those dumb enough to support an historically distorted re-enactment of the Tea Party.

    September 12, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. cookie cutter liberal

    OMG... it's so obvious that these people are all a bunch of un-American, racist, redneck, heterosexual piles of trailer trash! I mean, they're white and don't believe everything the president says.... who do they think they're fooling?

    Someone needs to inform them that you can't protest in this country unless you have long hair, a tie-dyed shirt, hemp sandals, and haven't bathed in days. These lunatics could never cut it at a real protest, like the one I went to last week to protect the habitat of the purple-spotted unicorn frog!

    September 12, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. John

    Shame on you CNN for not having the integrity to tell the truth about these fake rallys. If this was a story about a communist country you would quickly point out that these "grass-roots" movements are in fact highly-organized and funded by the dictator government or other anti-democratic, nefarious groups.

    These Tea-baggers, birthers, anti-healthcare reform, etc. pretend to be a grass-roots movement, but you know they are not. Sadly the people duped by these well-funded machines are the people who most need healthcare, good jobs and a stable, caring government.

    What happened to your courage and your journalistic integrity!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Steve (the real one)

    Americans exercising their rights. Allowed by the US Constitution, disapproved of by the left! Go figures! I am certain that during the Revolutionary War, the Brits called our patriots names too!

    September 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. ccc

    bunch of loosers

    September 12, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  21. Zion

    One woman at the rally summed up her feelings about issues this way: "It's too much too fast."

    That's a legitimate policy concern. I am so tired of us covering crap such as a man's finger being bitten off. People shouting liar, and I'm just sick of political debate being watered down.

    September 12, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. magella

    I love this:
    "The government should be concentrating on cutting spending on all the programs, not thinking of new, wonderful ways of spending more …. I've voted my whole life. This is the first time in my life I've gotten off the couch and said 'I'm sick of this. It's only three hours away, and I'm going to be there.'"

    So for the past eight years, when we were throwing billions of dollars at wars with no justification and no clear vision of "victory," and at the same time expanding government here and racking up the biggest deficit in history, it just didn't bother you at all? You just sat on your couch content with the way things were going? Idiot.

    September 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Jayden,FL

    These Tea Party people are sicking! bunch of right wing nut jobs!

    September 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. GOPer

    Where was this tea-bagged hypocrisy when Pres. Bush was growing BIG government waste and an unnecessary war?

    Then again, he was a Caucasian Republican just like the teabaggers. Transparent.

    September 12, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. Cathy

    It' so hypocritical about these "tea party" people.

    They argue against government in their lives...but I GUARANTEE a lot of them are getting social security, medicare or medicaid and/or unemployment benefits. So just because you already have healthcare it doesn't mean that millions of American uninsured don't have a right to it. In fact, one day these "tea party" people will most likely benefit from the Obama's health care reform.

    People are just so selfish.

    September 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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