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. g

    with the money republicans recieve from healyh insurance compant there not congreesmen or senators anymore they are legally insurance agents

    September 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    "Members from conservative groups such as Freedom Works, run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Campaign Liberty and the Institute for Liberty also were expected to participate in Saturday's rally."

    They're not just gonna participate. They ORGANIZED the whole thing, CNN. And you know that. But you can't offend those corporate sponsors, can you? And if Netflix contributes money to an organization run by Dick Armey...well...

    God save America.

    September 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  3. Joseph, Los Angeles

    I'm a proud American and these people do not represent me. American is a melting pot of all kinds of people, I see only one kind here.... Makes you wonder what they really feel.

    Dear media; the big elephant has been in the room for months now, it's time to call this revolt what it really is.

    September 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Scott Alexander

    Come on CNN, stop reporting fluff titles and comments when it comes to these "Tea Parties". They're not against big government, they're against ALL government where white people aren't in charge. How many blacks and hispanics are at these tea party events? Unless there are some who haven't caught on to their message yet, there's zero. The "Tea Party" members follow the "teachings" of John C. Calhoun, a very bigoted bad guy from the days after the revolution who encouraged people to overthrow the government because it was being too "liberal" and giving minorities too much power (slavery wouldn't be aboliished for another 60-70 years, so that shows what kind of person this Calhoun guy was). These extremists believe that being an open-minded person and wanting to progress humanity (that's the true definition of a liberal) is the worst thing in the world and that's what these tea party events are all repeating when they talk about succession. Report it like it is CNN. These are just KKK rallies where people don't where white robes and hoods.

    September 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Bre

    Is anyone ever going to be happy? We don't like big government but when the government got lax with the financial sector During Bushs presidency and things went to He** people were upset because nothing was done to stop this from happening. Now people are saying it is to much too fast so lets just sit and twittle our thumbs while health care expenses get out of hand and let's blame Obama for everything that has happened while we are at it. For one it took our Bush administration at least 2 years to get us in this mess with the recession...yes I did just say Bush the great is the cause for what is happening with our economy and health care system nothing was done to stop either from getting out of hand. Instead they swept the problems under the rug and say were not in a recession...idiots. And now we expect Obama to work a miracle and get us out of this in warp speed...not going to happen. And another thing if you don't like Obama's plan for health care then what is your idea. All I hear are these congressmen telling half truths about the health care reform getting people riled up and I would love to ask one the congressman and senators that are against it what is your idea then because all I hear from them is it is all wrong, but I have not heard one of them say well lets try to do this or that. Instead insiting riots they should be grown ups and work through ideas not slinging lies!!!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. True.American

    Why do these anti-American teabaggers hate America so much?

    September 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. Scott Alexander

    It's also funny how none of these people have a problem with the money that's spent on the war or the taxes that politicians and the rich avoid paying. Oh that's right, they believe in a government where people shouldn't pay taxes (unless they're non-white).

    September 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Doraine Gordon

    I heard one man say they were going to take our country back. I didn't know that our country went anywhere. If these people are so unhappy here in the USA why don't they just leave? Where have they been the ast eight years when the Bush folks were selling our country off piece by piece? And using so much money to fight two useless wars that we shouldn't have been involved in? I didn't see any crazies out then wearing guns and marching on Washington. What is wrong with you people? You should be standing together with all Americans and working for our country not against it. Well, there are millions of Americans who ARE united for our country. We greatly outnumber you little ignorant folks with all your pettiness. So just keep on acting the fool!! It will do you more harm than good!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Bob

    Morons. You have representation.

    September 12, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. ric

    Now thats the REAL america speaking! So proud to see my fellow Americans stand up to this runaway government and the horrific damage it is doing to our nation.

    September 12, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Shelly

    It's the largest klan rally in American history.

    September 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. freda

    The participants at this supposedly tea party rally probably cannot give an intelligent answer as to just why they are there. They haven't heard or educated themselves enough – but they do see a lot – PRESIDENT OBAMA. This circus is not about government – it's hatred for PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    Glen Beck is a disgrace and should be permanently removed from Fox. Oh, it's Fox, so I guess it's just fine with them.

    President Obama will not be thrown by this group of vicious people.

    September 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. DA

    When will the media point out what is really going on with these group. These group are basically against anything that is being proposed by the President because he is BLACK!!! NONE of the idiot right wing said NO to Bush when he sent billions to Iraq due to his WAR!!! So now that we have a President that is out to help the people he is deemed a Socialist? PLEASE!!! This is just a bunch of folks who just can't seem to get over the fact that we are a country of all races and that we are now at a turning point where one race no longer is the majority when it comes to leading this country!!! GET OVER IT!!! TIME FOR THE MEDIA TO POINT WHAT THIS REALLY IS ABOUT!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Where were all of these protesters over the last eight years when Bush was spending money like a drunken sailor and putting this country into the debt that started us in the recession that we're now in? Why weren't they upset about the way he spent money? Could it be that he was a Republican that could do no wrong? Could it be that no one was allowed to dare criticize him or they would anger the right wing? Could it be that he wasn't black? It's very telling that these protesters are so angry at anything that President Obama tries to do, yet George Bush was put on a pedestal like he was royalty! What this all boils down to is that this is their way of disapproving of a black man in the White house, and they're using his spending money as an excuse to hide their racism! John McCain was trounced in the election, and many of these angry idiots voted for Obama, What did they think would happen? Did they think that after he became the president that he would just go away? People need to grow up in this country. The behavior of the Republicans in the capital chamber on Wednesday night during the presidents speech showed exactly how arrogant and childish the Republican party is now, and I would be ashamed to admit that I was a Republican after what happened! Why are they so terrified of change? How pathetic they are!

    September 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. DA

    When will the media start reporting on what the Republican agenda is really about? It is about how they can't respect a Black man being the leader of the Free World? Also when will that Token Michael Steele wake up and see he is just an pawn in this game the GOP is playing? Dude man up!!
    I mean don't get me wrong i'm a bit of a Conservative myself when it comes to matter of spending on things that just don't help the American people, like the stupid Iraq war.
    HOWEVER, if the money is being spent to directly HELP the American people…like HEALTH CARE then I'm all for it!!!

    So, to the media start reporting on what is the real agenda of the RNC, the extreme Right, and the Congressional Repubican Party because we all know this is about RACE plan and simple!!!

    September 12, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  16. Lisa B in FL

    Anyone who thinks this is simply a protest against the Fed Gov't is delusional. This is an out and out Obama-Bashing rally fueled by the likes of Beck, Hannity, Palin, Limbaugh, et. al. The dumbing down of America at its finest. Where the hell were these "patriots" when Bush was lying us into the war and Iraq and spending trillions while killing thousands. Where was the outrage when Cheney uprooted our Constitution under the Patriot Act? Where was and is the outrage over illegal torture and wiretapping innocent Americans? Seems to me these tea baggers need a new GPS system. They went to the wrong address. They should be being "patriots" in Dallas, Texas, not in Washington D.C. They should be carrying posters of George W. Bush with a pinnochio nose, not President Obama. They should be carrying signs in front of W and Laura's house in Dallas. Not in Washington D.C. While I agree there should be outrage and protests, their anger is seriously misguided.

    September 12, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. jane doe

    Funny, they didn't mind it when the repubs went crazy with spending that mostly benefitted the rich. They don't mind – in fact insist – when govt gets involved in telling people who they can marry, telling women whether they must continue pregnancies. They want big govt when it benefits them or advances their personal agenda. They are hypocrites.

    September 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. Get A Brain GOPs

    Bunch of idiots, speaking rhetorics that just does not even make sense. They really are rallying against the stuff W Bush left behind. This deficit if Bush's and President Obama has not raised any of their taxes. Bunch of rednecks not happy that this country is changing.

    September 12, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. anthony

    no matter what they say or do. When the government has to spend money to get us out of GWB mess it has to do what it has to do.

    September 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. OIF Vet

    It's funny how many of the GOP leaders who ran up the debt, started a two trillion dollar war and passed a trillion dollare entitlement prorgam while driving our economy off the cliff would be asked to speak. But when a corport lead organization like Freedom Works is funding your party its ok to forget the situation that the GOP has put us in over the last 8 years.

    September 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Harold

    D.C police now estimate 1.5 million at Washington protest.

    September 12, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Chattanooga

    They should be angry at the Republicans. The rises in spending the last 21 years have been unjustifiable. The democrats have an excuse: their party platform is socialism. What excuse to the republicans have for all of this irresponsible government nannyism? I'm obviously neither contemporary democrat(socialist) or contemporary republican(undercover socialist). I'd sure like to see a new political party with republican military might, libertarian constitutionalism, racial indifference, and founding father ethics. If nothing else though, stop spending money we don't have!

    September 12, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. g

    with the money republicans recieve from insurance companys there not congressmen or senators anymore there insurance agents

    September 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Willam

    Hello Naysayers and Tea Partiers

    I am the responsible small business owner who actually pays for your health insurance that you are satisfied with. Small business owners are tired of being fleeced by the health insurance industry that bases premiums on the health of our individual workforces. Each small business employee is required to complete an invasive health questionnaire before a commercial insurance company will give the small business a rate quote. They raise rates with impunity if the health status of an employee changes because they know no other insurance company will give a reasonable quote. Large employers are given favorable community rated group premiums that small businesses are denied. Large groups have stable inexpensive rates based on employee count only. All group plans should be charged premiums based on employee count to provide a fair and predictable premium cost even for small businesses. No special deals for big business groups any more!

    I am tired of competing against irresponsible businesses that do not insure their employees and I am tired of paying extra so their employees can use the Emergency Room on my dime. Since small business employs many of the uninsured making it possible for them to purchase insurance at fair rates by requiring community rating would do much to solve the problem of the uninsured. There should be no exemptions for small business because insuring yourself and your workers is the right thing to do. Caring for your employees’ well being demonstrates that you have real Christian values. Unfortunately, many Christian business owners do not have these values and will have to be coerced into responsibility.

    You should be protesting to force the health insurance industry to give small business fair rates so that we can afford to insure you even if you do become ill. Community rating, not health based rating, for premiums is the key to access for all because it ensures affordability regardless of your circumstances. This simple change along with banning pre existing condition restrictions are the real keys to reform and access for all. You do not need a public option if insurance companies are forced to take all comers at the same rate for a given policy. They will be forced to compete based on volume to be able to create a large enough pool of customers to spread the costs.

    And Yes! You do not get to keep your doctor, if we use your plan, when I can not afford the premiums any more because you refuse to allow any reform. If you want to keep your doctor; Don’t Stop Reform. Fight for It!

    September 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Chagrined

    Oliver Wendell Holmes asserted that we pay taxes for civility. WE THE PEOPLE pay taxes for civility. Those marching in Washington, inspired by Dick Army and Glen Beck, the potato people, the little people, the crazy people and the 'great unwashed' that hang out at FOX NEWS, owned by Mr. Murdoch, a man who kept a bust of Lenin on his mantelpiece and referred to Lenin in his letters home as "The Great Thinker," are unpatriotic ingrates who supported a war of choice in Iraq at a cost of three trillion (Joseph Stiglitz) but oppose healthcare for all Americans.
    Thomas Jefferson asserted that 'ignorance' is the greatest threat to our DEMOCRACY. These 'tea party people' and ignorance are synonymous.
    Obviously, allowing immigration after 1800 to a country founded by Protestants and Deists for Protestants and Deists was a colossal mistake!

    September 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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