February 5th, 2010
04:07 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Fact Check: Ticket to the Tea Party

(CNN) - The National Tea Party Convention is going on through Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. On CNN's "American Morning" on Thursday, the Washington bureau chief of left-leaning Mother Jones magazine, David Corn, said of the convention, "The only thing that is happening is people that can afford $600 tickets in order to pay Sarah Palin a $115,000 speaker fee will be eating steak and lobster. It's not the heart of the movement."

Fact Check:
Are Tea Party Convention tickets $600, and will Sarah Palin be paid $115,000 to speak at the convention?

- Convention organizers told CNN on Thursday that about 600 people paid $549 each for convention tickets. Tickets for the banquet alone are $349, and some are still available.

- A spokeswoman for Palin and convention organizers would not confirm to CNN reports that she will be paid about $100,000 for the appearance. Palin said in an opinion piece for USA Today that "any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."

- The convention center chef's office said that filet of beef with grilled shrimp will be served as the entree at the Palin banquet. No lobster.

Bottom Line:
David Corn overshot on the ticket price. It cost $549 to attend both the convention and the banquet. Palin won't say how much she's being paid, but she apparently won't be eating lobster.

Filed under: Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Annie, Atlanta

    I'd like to know if the white robe and hood are included in the cost or if you have to provide your own.

    February 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. D

    Cindy has hit the nail on the head when she says...
    "Where ever Sarah goes, drama follows."

    People.... why ALL the drama?

    February 5, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. Sue

    I will help to do your work for you CNN.

    In an interview a few days ago........Palin admitted that she gets paid to attend speaking engagements--including the $115,000 to speak at the Tea Party Convention.

    However, she said that all money that she raises/is paid---is put back into "the cause"---which is to find and fund as many conservative candidates as possible for the 2010 elections.

    Al Gore gets paid over $250,000 for each one of his speaking engagements---why no article about this???

    Do you think that Obama does not get paid--what about Bill Clinton??

    February 5, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Tram

    Wait a minute - people are paying $600 to showcase their stupidity?

    I could get rich just giving stupid people a platform and a location to hold their venues! Silly me - and here I thought working at an honest living was a good idea....

    February 5, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Finally!

    Fact check all you want, but all it does prove is that it is VERY EXPENSIVE TO BE THERE and that ONLY WEALTHY FOLKS can afford to go to this convention.

    I guess the tea party is NOT FOR THE COMMON MAN.


    February 5, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Carol

    If her fee is going right back to the cause, why take the check. Speak for free. Yeah, I betcha!

    February 5, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Seriously Confused

    Convention goers will pay $550 to vent their frustrations...wouldn't it be less money and effort to provide healthcare for all Americans?

    February 5, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Lyn

    The idea that these people who have enough money to waste $550.00 on a ticket to a dinner, or the cost of a cruise to talk politics, represent middle-income America is beyond the pale. Clearly these people arent' worried about anything except having to pay their fair share of taxes. I've heard, more than once, a remark about health care being forced down peoples throats. What if we let them sign a waiver that they don't want health insurance. Then when they get cancer or break a leg they can bring cash...or stay home, but don't come whining to the American tax payer to foot the bill. Right now, it's middle income America that's paying for all those people who can't afford health care, but end up needing it anyway. It's the sea-going tea-baggers who are worried they may have to cough up their fair share. .

    February 5, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    @ Sue......... the President of the United States while IN Office is not PAID to make speeches.

    Once upon a time in Germany, there was a small angry group of people. They loved their homeland more than anyone, they wanted a "purity test." They liked to point out who was a patriot and who wasn't. They hated Gays, rounded them up, and killed them. They burned books, they disagreed with. They told LIES about the Jews, over and over, until the German people believed the lies. And they killed ........6 million Jews!

    They were Nazis. Beware of angry groups, that disrespect the president whom the majority voted for. Beware of lies!

    February 5, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Average American

    Annie, you're so silly. Everyone already has a robe and hood. Only amateurs need to rent one!

    February 5, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Gary

    Then give Palins check directly to the cause. Don't let her cash it. See how she likes that.

    February 5, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. Vote for GOP based on their ideas, which are.......?????


    Want to know why no one is talking about Al Gore, because he isn't holding $350 dinners and claiming it's a grassroots movement created for the common man.

    You lose(again)

    February 5, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. brains

    my teabag party only charges $200 for a plate, any takers?

    February 5, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    Tickets are $540 and or "... are $349, and some are still available..."

    YOU LIE!!! I heard on MSNBC that the tickets were SOLD OUT – they only intended on having no more than 600-900 people (ANOTHER LIE) – but yet in another BREATH, the person being interviewed said they were slightly disappointed because they had more tickets to sell but the PRICE may have been TOO HIGH!!! How can you be disappointed in not selling more tickets IF the event was SOLD OUT???? LIARS!!

    Just like FLOP NEWS exaggerated on the size of the CROWDS – the TEA BAGGERS are LIARS and have NO JUSTIFICATION for a MOVEMENT!!!

    February 5, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Edwin

    Steve (the real one) criticized Anonymous for posting
    "Tea Baggers are all BIGOTS and IDIOTS!!!!!"

    He defended his criticism by citing the First Amendment.


    I think Anonymous was also using the First Amendment. It allows us to sling insults at groups we think are idiotic or dangerous.

    You are probably right that the original poster hated opposing points of view. But that applies to nearly everyone in the United States. We live in a country where people do not agree, do not get along, and cannot work with each other. Based on your response, it is clear you have no love or tolerance for liberals.

    Don't use the First Amendment to attack someone who is only posting their own opinion - that's just plain stupid.

    February 5, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. Sue

    Let me spell this out for some.................

    This was a FUND RAISER--to raise money to find and fund conservative candidates.

    The Obama worshippers should be familiar with fund raisers---as Obama just had one last night.

    How much was charged per plate to see/hear the boy king???

    February 5, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Sue

    The loony left liberals have ACORN and the SEIU.

    The moderates/conservatives have the Tea Party organization. There should not be any problem.

    Lacrosse Mom--Obama might not get paid "directly"---however, he raises money for the DNC and raises money for candidates.

    This is the exact same thing that the Tea Party Convention did--and will continue to do.

    Also, I can't wait to read CNN's article about how much Al Gore and Bill Clinton make for their speaking engagements--when can we look forward to reading about it???

    Al Gore makes OVER $250,000 per speaking engagement. I don't know exactly how much Bill Clinton makes-–but I am quite sure that is is very close to what Al Gore makes.

    February 5, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. virginia for obama

    Ryan, Ryan, Ryan! You are sooooooooo RIGHT ON! They NEVER ask the Republicans about their doings in all of this. The Rethugs ONLY used them for their VOTES and that's it.

    February 5, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Daphne

    You lefties are amazing – you think that calling people derogatory names, claiming tea party event attendees are racists and that Sarah Palin shouldn't get paid? Call us racists all you want, the word has no meaning anymore. It is used to try to intimate people from exercising their rights and its not working. Anyone with a brain can see that the tea party is made up of peaceful, family-oriented patriots so give it up. I didn't hear anyone complaining when Clinton made a fortune giving speeches to his adoring throngs. Such hypocrosy.

    February 5, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Ellen

    Right back into the cause????????? Please; how many millions have you collected already and you've given what – 40k? Are you going to build a Tea Party Conference Center next to the cabins you've forgotten to pay taxes on?

    February 5, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Saint Sarah, the High Priestess of racism will be the headline speaker.

    She will appear with a roguish tilt to her "gimme" hat with McCain inked out, giving testimony to the fact she is still torqued that she did not remember to grab appropriate head gear when the Reds were paying the bills at Neiman's!

    Her cammo two piece swim suit, she must keep those favorable male polls up, will have a German Luger tucked discreetly into the waist band, next to her "Jesus Saves:" tat. She will wear the waist band high so we cannot see the list that she believes Jesus will save!

    She will have "peek-a-boo" newborn bunny fur ankle boots, which she herself designed after helicoptering in and shoving a double barrel shot gun into the warren. The boots will include 4 inch heels, again for the male poll numbers, but also so they can double as stakes should she encounter any witches when she is not traveling with her beloved "witch doctor".

    Her speech will consist of defining each of the 10 "purity" commandment of the Reds.

    The crowd will respond with full throated "Sieg Heil" although the flailing about of 1200 extra long arms may prove problematic, not to mention the deafening sound of the whistling coming from 600 sets of missing front teeth!

    The individual training course given through Sunday are:

    1 How to build and burn a cross from a safe distance..

    2. How to sew, press and store the white sheets and hood.

    3. How to make a hangman’s noose.

    4. How to screen print Hitler’s picture onto t-shirts.

    The conference finale will consist of a day long KKK rally on Sunday so folks can show the skills learned.

    David Duke is rumored to be making an appearance to sign off all his willing new followers.

    February 5, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. short-changed (CNN doesn't post my comments...what's up with that??)

    Get a clue Dimowits and liberal left-wingnuts!
    The issue isn't whether the Tea Party folks are fruitcakes or not.
    That is completely irrelevant.
    What is extremely relevant is the fact that NONE OF THEM WILL BE VOTING DEMOCRAT!!!
    Whether your a loon or not, your vote still counts and these people are fired up and guess who they won't be voting for...

    February 5, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. Indy

    Palin is giving back to the cause ? Well that is as wide open as one can get so I will make it clear for everyone what she means. She will take the money, spew hatred and lies to the people who paid to hear her, then she will live high on the hog and take private jets and stay at $3000.00 a night hotels.The only cause Palin has is to get rich at any cost. She would sell her soul to the devil if she got paid.This is the person who was going to help Alaska but does not live there anymore because money is the most important thing to her and her wayward family.

    February 5, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. Indy

    You are incredibly delusional !!! Do you honestly believe Palin is not going to use the money for herself. If she wanted to do something for "the cause" she could start by NOT charging for the speech.
    Obama is the President and in case you didn't realize that, they do not get paid for speeches
    Gore does not pretend to "give back to the cause"

    February 5, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  25. Tom

    Tea Baggers have the right to speak out, however, I wish they would learn what they are talking about before they speak.
    Thank you!

    February 5, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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