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. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Tom Tancredo is a draft dodger and got rightfully called out by Markos Moulitsas who is editor of the liberal website the Daily Kos and an Iraq war vet and an immigrant. Immigrants also put their lives on the line to help defend this country, unlike Tom who never has.

    February 5, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. rfk

    Only 600 people! What a joke of a convention. As for his remarks – pretty incendiary stuff. Ever notice how people that are not too bright are always angry?

    February 5, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. WhoCares?

    Just need about one more generation.. Need to allow these bigot Dinosaurs finally die off and then our country can move forward again.

    February 5, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Fred

    just another sad day in this country... I believe in allowing one their opinion, but to slander voters and our country's leader is truly bad style and distasteful... if this Tea Party is to gain any credibility, they need to make better choices in their speakers... and I just can't wait until Palin gets her say... at $350 a head...

    February 5, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. George B.

    I do favor enforcing the laws of this land, and I believe the US has the right to decide among the many deserving people seeking asylum and escaping opression (from Africa, Haiti and all parts of the world for example) to legally immigate to US, as part of a fair quota system. Mexico is already the leading legal source of immigrants, but their porous border allows folks to ignore our laws with impunity. That "said", Tencredo's hateful and xenophobic rhetoric does more harm than good. Maybe he's trying to get attention then will promote a book.

    February 5, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. joyluck

    Who in the world is he -Tancredo referring to when he said they can't spell the word VOTE or say it in English? Oh I know..... and once again, take whose country back? Please answer specifically don't be shy. They "Tea Party members talk about they want their Freedom? Who were the slaves in this so call party? Only 600 people at this rally. They look more stupid by the minute!!!!!

    February 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Kush

    What a loser this guy is.

    February 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. Sebastian

    The Teabaggers are a bunch of angry, uninformed, racist, xenophobic sheep being exploited by cynical political has-beens like Dick Armey, Tancredo and Sarah Palin who are all too happy to terrorize them with misinformation because scared people are easy to exploit. They've protested tax increases that never existed, bought the transparent and easily discredited lie about death panels for old people, and cling to this ridiculous idea that Obama isn't a citizen (despite a birth certificate and a birth announcement in the local paper when he was born). They deserve nothing more than the contempt one reserves for shameful historical figures like Joe McCarthy and his paranoid Communist witch hunt or Southern segregationists (one sees both themes in their ridiculous rallies). "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"

    February 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Walker

    If they couldn't spell vote may be it is because all the cut in education the previous president made, leave no kid behind – my behind!
    His comments come off pretty racist if you ask me. FYI English speaking white folk were not the first people here yet he is criticizing Hispanics for not speaking English. Nice white robe and hat you have...yikes.

    February 5, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. singe

    Nice touch having the opening done by an ex-convict. I guess the movements father, Charles Mason, wasn't able to get any release time to introduce Tancredo.

    February 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. Lori in Texas

    Annnd They'rrrrrrrre Offfffff! Here we go, Folks! Get your popcorn, get your popcorn right here! Secure your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

    This should be interesting. I say we each have a shot of our favorite beverage each time we see a person of color at the Teabagger Convention. We should all be safe driving home at the end of the weekend for sure!

    February 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Chris

    Yes, this is their country- and only their country. Anyone who disagrees with them is a "leftist ideologue". What a revolution the November 2008 election was- a democratic process in which citizens of the country voted for whom we wanted to run the country. Inanity. Thank God for America, where even if you hate your fellow citizens and think they have no role whatsoever in choosing our government, they still get to vote, and their votes count as much as yours does.

    February 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Chuck

    By "we" and"us", I guess he means Republicans? I guess that officially puts to rest the slivers of misinformation about the tea party being even remotely bipartisan or anything more than a right wing extremist group. Morons...shouldn't these people be at work or something?

    February 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  14. Pam from Tn.

    I'm sure when my ancestors came to America from Europe, they too had a challenge before them to learn English. He is an absolute idiot using the usual scare tactics common to those who want to divide this country!

    February 5, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. awesome!

    If you pull the nut jobs out of the GOP, that will leave another 15% of America. So... the DNC needs just a plurality to win. This is a good thing for America. Party on teabaggers.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. RTB

    Oh brother.

    What a pathetic wind bag this one is.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Alex

    If this is the best the tea party can come up with – an also-ran candidate who is such an also ran I've never even heard of him – the Republicans and Democrats have nothing to worry about.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. georgia

    So Mr. Tancredo is worried about the spelling capabilities of voters? I'd suggest that he quiz the "Tea Party" crowd; I've heard and read reports of enough interviews among the Tea Partiers to suspect that spelling–and Standard English–aren't among their strong suits.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. Future expat

    Tom Tancredo is just another right wing weasel whose bark is worse than his bite. Do a YouTube search for "Tom Tancredo Markos" and watch him get put to shame.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. AUSTIN,TX

    one word....idiot

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  21. Illinois Blue Dog

    What a wingnut. I think this guy got about 14 votes for president during the Republican primaries in 2008. This is the best the tea-baggers could do to start their convention? Great start. Keep the yahoos coming.

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  22. Kylene

    This is way too humorous, we can now add Tancredo to the list of crazies that should not be taken seriously. What a line up, palin, Michele Bachmann, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Tancredo. This should be covered by Comedy Central not CNN

    February 5, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Sharon

    This is my country, too, and I can't imagine it run by these narrow minded, right wing, selfish, greedy, mean spirited people who claim their allegiance to God and country, but who's only mantra is "me first, last and always!" If they don't like our country, than let them get out! If the right wing politicians claim government is too big, let them get out. After the last supreme court ruling, it seems that our justices have thrown out the constitution. The republican administration of the past 8 years ran our economy and our world imagine into the ground, systematically destroying everything they came in contact with. Where were these loud mouths then? Bush left this country with a 1.2 trillion deficit. Where was the tea party then? I'm willing to pay my share of taxes, that's my obligation to my country. I'm certainly willing to help people who have less than I do, that's my obligation to my fellow man and to my God.

    February 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  24. davidg

    tancredo is a traitor

    February 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Allie in TN

    I am ashamed that this backwards, hate-filled and ignorant convention is being held in my home state. When will people learn that nothing can be solved by throwing around hateful remarks at each other?

    February 5, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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