February 5th, 2010
12:37 PM ET
13 years ago

Tancredo opens Tea Party Convention with a bang

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/05/art.tancredo.gi.jpg caption="Tom Tancredo opened what's being billed as the first Tea Party Convention with a bang."]Nashville, Tennessee (CNN) – Tom Tancredo opened what's being billed as the first Tea Party Convention with a bang.

The former congressman from Colorado and 2008 Republican presidential candidate blasted President Obama, saying "people who could not even spell the word 'vote', or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama."

Tancredo made his comments as he gave the kickoff speech for the convention, which is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

Tancredo's speech received polite applause among the 600 attendees at the convention.

"So the race for America is on right now. The president and his left-wing allies in Congress are going to look at every opportunity to destroy the Constitution before we have a chance to save it. So put your running shoes on. Because I'll tell you, I've heard we need a revolution. My friends, we already had it. We lost. I mean, what happened to us in that last election was a revolution," said Tancredo, discussing the 2008 presidential contest.

Tancredo also slammed that election's Republican presidential nominee, saying "thank God John McCain lost the election."

The former congressman known for his strong opposition to illegal immigration also attacked "the cult of multiculturalism, aided by leftists, liberals all over who don't have the same idea about America as we do."

A spokesman for the Tea Party Nation, the group that organized the convention, said Tancredo's speech may provide some red meat but termed it problematic.

"It doesn't further the dialogue," said Mark Skoda, a businessman and founder of the Memphis Tea Party, who is also serving as spokesman for the convention.

Tancredo ended his speech telling the crowd that "this is our country" and urged them "to take it back."


- CNN Correspondent Mary Snow contributed to this report


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. RodeoJoe

    What an embarrassing ethnophobic figure. By the way, Obama knows the Constitution. And he can read !!!

    February 5, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Lisa

    Funny how these so called "Tea Baggers" were silent during the 8 years of the Bush administration when our economy was systematically being dimantled. I must agree with part of their premise that average Americans are suffering while big business gets bailed out, but they are barking up the wrong tree. Crooked capitalism flourished under the Republicans. Do people not understand that this is what the party stands for? Perhaps if their "values' voters could see past their sanctimonious BS, they would wisen up.

    February 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  3. Matt

    "the cult of multiculturalism, aided by leftists, liberals all over who don't have the same idea about America as we do."

    So...what is that supposed to mean? He only likes white folks?!?!

    This guy is so incredibly inflammatory, he is doing a great disservice to the tea party movement. Garbage like he spews will just shove their equity into the far, far right zealot category.

    February 5, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. DanB

    Living in Colorado for the last 23 years, I'm embarassed that this guy was an elected official for our state. We are a very diverse state with people from all over the country coming to live here. This kind of talk is not productive in any way and only fuels the bartisan bickering that has taken over Washington and too much of this country. In order to find a way forward, we need leaders that have some common sense and we, the people, need to have some as well.

    February 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. dave

    Wow, this is what hate sounds like. His mother must be so proud.

    February 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  6. DOG1

    Destroy the Constitution?, The republicans are the party that came up with the "patriot act", started TWO unwinnable wars, one for no reason except oil profits and never let the American public know that they didn't have a way to pay for them. OF course he's glad McCain didn't win, they never meant for him to win. The Republican leadership wanted the Democrats to win so they's inherit the blown economy, the wars and the overwhelming debt and fail at fixing it no matter what it costs this country in blood and money. Every time you
    point out that Bush and Cheney left us with this mess the right wingers say not to think about the past but only whats happening right now. Of course they say that so they can get back in power and go back to destroying this country. What do they care their moneys in foreign banks and they can just run away when America fails!

    February 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Will

    "people who could not even spell the word 'vote', or say it in English, put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama."

    I'm almost positive that around 25% of his audience would fall into this category.

    February 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. rdn

    How does the country decide whose country it is? Each side claims their way is the right way. Without compromise all we can expect is extremism from both ends. Is it just a matter of time until the right wing extremists takes their guns and start shooting people? And someone please tell me this. Obama was criticized for his people cling to their guns and religion in hard times statement during the campaign. Yet when glenn beck said it all comes down to the three G's – guns, god and gold, I didn't hear anyone complaining. So beck does advertising for a company that sells gold, pushes gold during his program and there's no conflict of interest? And what's he going to say when the gold bubble bursts and his followers loose their money? Really, I have to laugh at those that listen to him. They're being led off of a cliff while he's headed toward the bank...

    February 5, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. In the West

    What a joke: A nutty right wing ideologue slamming the fact that the American populace voted (as the founders intended) and elected the best candidate. I suggest Tancredo and the rest of the ignorant tea partiers read the constitution, and if they can't live with the representative democracy that has made this nation great that they go find an island somewhere to live out their petty lives.

    February 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Eric

    Music to my ears... can't wait to see this mix of the well intentioned but uninformed, radicals, and profiteers sidelined. Debt and deficits are a problem, but yelling, screaming, and misspelled signs are not the way to solve the problem.

    February 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. Josh

    Tancredo is a has been here in Colorado. What he has to say means nothing and only serves to stir up the crazies.

    February 5, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Corey R.

    It took G.W. 8 years to destroy this nations economy after Clinton took 8 years to fix it from the last bush. Howcan anyone expect this country to be healed in a year?? You have politics palying the same ole game and noone, including democrats, are reaching out to "hear" what we are asking for.

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. Ron in Asheville, NC

    Just what Constitution needs saving from the current administration? The one that, according to the prior regime, supported unregulated domestic espionage, secret courts, back room deals with the oil industry (that were then blatantly lied about), even more blatant lying on the international stage to try to support a war waged against the stipulations of treaties to which we were party, the practice of torture, denial of the right of habeas corpus, etc. Is that what NOW needs "saving"? Sheesh.

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. ross berg- Buffalo NY

    Wow!1 As a lifelong conservative I must say that wack jobs like this guy are an answer to the liberals prayers. He will certainly convince the majority of swing voters ( who decide nearly every election) to stay as far away from him and anyone he endorses as possible!!

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Shawn

    Typical racist BS from the republicans, and they just cannot stop making idiots of themselves. A U.S. citizen has a right to vote regardless of their native language, so why anyone would clap for this moron is riduculous.

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Christian

    So is he saying that the majority of Americans are stupid? Is this what this Tea Party believes in? You can count me out on that one.

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    This is EXACTLY what we DONT need to put our country back on its feet again. This Tancredo person is dangerous and should shut his mouth NOW.

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Joel Burlingham

    This movement is doomed to implosion if this kind of inane rhetoric continues to shape its ideological understanding.

    Joel Burlingham

    February 5, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Eric

    You look at speakers like this and then wonder why many people consider the tea party to be a bunch of ignorant haters. Although I am happy that Mr. Skoda said that Tancredo's speech did not further the dialogue, I feel that many people in the tea party would have very similar views to Mr. Tancredo. It's amazing that he was ever elected to any public office.

    February 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Barbara Caniff

    What planet are these peoples on? I think the Tea Party is a disgrace to the United States. I wonder how many of them are drawing SS and on Medicare. Who do they think pays for that? They should start helping Obama and quit trying to stop everything he tries to do.

    February 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  21. dave

    BTW, according to the latest CNN poll (which the tea partiers will probably spin as left wing propoganda) 2/3rds of the country don't give a crap about the tea party or their agenda.

    February 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. billy123

    I wonder am I the only one who only sees Republicans and Fox News supporting the Tea Party? I feel sorry for people who support this movement thinking if the Republicans get back in power their lives will improve. Please remember it was the Republicans who caused our economy to tank in the first place.

    February 5, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. geecee

    This Tancredo guy is a total nut-case, just like the rest of the teabaggers. They don't even know what they are protesting. Obama is doing as good a job as he can under the circumstances. He wants to do what he feels is best for America and repair the damage done by the Bush/Cheney years. It will take awhile – 8 years of destruction cannot be repaired in one year. The teabaggers are actually just unhappy that we have a black man in the White House with an unusual name and they can't accept that. They are in denial, they are delusional and counterproductive.

    February 5, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. amazing

    nice to have a dedicated bigot open their hootininy

    "committed socialist ideologue" and you 'mr' tancredo are a dedicated right wing nut job

    as dick cheney said to patrick leahy: go f yourself

    February 5, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. sara

    What else is NEW......we have alot of "Tancredo" in our Congress and House of Rep. The First KKK RALLY in THE OPEN! And he Thought he could be Elected President? And now it's for ALL the WORLD to KNOW. Maybe now they can Eliminate "playing the Race Card", when they're Called out. And maybe they Won't be Such Cowards, and REALLLLLY STAND on their PRINCIPALS AND BELIEF SYSTEMS.

    February 5, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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