February 5th, 2010
04:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Tea Party Convention organizer says Tancredo gave fantastic speech

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/05/art.tparty.file.gi.jpg caption="The National Tea Party Convention kicked off Thursday night."]Nashville, Tennessee (CNN) – The organizer of the Tea Party Convention says he agrees with Tom Tancredo's description of President Barack Obama as a socialist.

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 Thursday night as he gave the kickoff speech for the convention, which is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

Judson Phillips, a Tennessee lawyer who formed Tea Party Nation and who organized what's being billed as the first national Tea Party Convention, told reporters Friday that "Tom Tancredo gave a fantastic speech last night. I think he is an amazing politician."

Asked if he agrees with Tancredo's description of Obama, Phillips said "the word socialist is a word you don't want to be labeled with in the American Political system. It's got a lot of negative connotations, but it also has a very specific political meaning. It refers to a specific political ideology. I think it is very clear that that is the political ideology of Barack Obama."

Phillips added that he thinks "Tancredo doesn't feel like a lot of people who supported Barack Obama understand the basics of this country."

In his speech, Tancredo also slammed the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, saying "thank God John McCain lost the election.

Phillips agreed, adding, "I think a McCain presidency would have been far worse that Bush one or Bush two. I think it would have been a total disaster. I think we would have gotten the worst of what we are getting in the Obama administration and really nothing positive from what would have been allegedly be a conservative party, or allegedly be a conservative leader."

Phillips also announced that he will hold another Tea Party convention in July. He declined to name a location for the event.

The other major news to come out of Friday's news conference: some of the organizers are forming a tax-exempt non-profit corporation called the Ensuring Liberty Corporation and a soon to be established affiliated political action committee.

Mark Skoda, a businessman and founder of the Memphis Tea Party, who is also serving as spokesman for the convention, says the formation of the corporation and the PAC is a way that the Tea Party movement can participate in politics and termed it "a conservative effort in support of candidates."

Skoda predicted this would be an outlet for people who took part in Tea Party protests to get involved in campaign politics. He listed six congressional races in the Southeast where endorsements may be made.

Along with the corporation and PAC, Skoda announced that candidates seeking backing would need to agree with a list of "First Principles": fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, less government, states' rights and national security. He said he did not consider the "First Principles" a litmus test for candidates.

Skoda also said he does not support a third party movement.

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Tea Party Convention • Tom Tancredo
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Florida Joe

    Pathetic bunch of radicals

    February 5, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Tea baggers are the new lunatic fringe......

    February 5, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Once upon a time in Germany, there was an angry group of people, led by a man who also gave a "fantastic" speech. They loved their country more than anyone, they questioned their neighbors patriotism. And believed that only PURE Germans had the right to live! They hated Gays, and rounded them up, put them in concentration camps. They told LIES about the Jews, over and over, until the people of Germany believed the lies. And they killed 6 million Jews. They burned books that they did not agree with, silenced music unless it was state sanctioned by their leader.

    Beware of small angry groups, that want a "purity test" America!

    Beware of any group that claims to love America more than you do!

    February 5, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  4. harley

    only 600 people showed up to this crock.....these people are so out of touch with America it is pathetic..they are totally racist and a disgrace to all races who fought for our country

    February 5, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. harley

    and I am from colorado like tancrado and NOONE in my area agrees with this guy

    February 5, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Randall

    Those most hilarious part of Tancredo's ridiculous rant is the hypocrisy of his statements (as is the case with many of these fringe right blowhards) . Tancredo's grandparents are Italian immigrants. So under Mr. Tancredo's rationale his grandparents should not have been allowed to vote. What a clown.

    February 5, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. JS007

    CNN, why is what a bunch of mentally imbalanced, ignorant racists say such big news warranting constant coverage?

    February 5, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. Jay

    Hey look... a bunch of angry, ignorant white folks stirred into a frenzy of mindless fear and denial by Tancredo, Dick Armee and FOX NEWS. And to think, they're only getting fleeced $500 a pop to act like sheep.

    February 5, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Gary

    Tea Party Convention organizer says Tancredo gave fantastic speech

    These are the same fools that said
    " I don't know her, but she's the best"
    Remember that.
    I believe they gather each morning to practice their lines.

    These people are a threat and a danger to our country.

    February 5, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. harley

    no president raped the country more than bush and his cronies...Obama has spent government money on America...bush gave it to cheney...wake up people and realize that Obama is doing what he can with the mess bush left...give it time and come together as Americans..the more the GOP says no ...the worse they look

    February 5, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. MikeinMA

    In the 1920's there was another so called "populist"movement made up of real Americans who wanted to take their country back and have it run with their set of American values. They had rallies with thousands of supporters in Washington. They marched down Pennsylvania Ave proudly waving their signs and wearing their sheets. That's right the good old KKK was quite popular in the early 1920's until people came to their senses and saw them for what they really were. So it will be with this bunch of extremists.

    February 5, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. New York

    This article makes me sick. As long as the media reports these events, they will continue and grow. STOP reporting on these events and STOP reporting every move that ignorant Sarah Palin makes. The media is making her rich.

    February 5, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. ObamasRecordDefict

    Tea Party Members > Socialist Liberal DUMocRATS

    Don't agree with all the TEA platform, but a lot of it is GOOD.

    February 5, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    At a recent Tea Party here in San Antonio I decided to wade into the crowd with my notebook in hand and get some opinions, but I specifically targetted people that I felt were already retired. And I did it for a reason.

    I interviewed 27 people, all retired, and asked for their opinions on the health care plan, etc. My purpose was to ferret out the misguided beliefs and I wasn't disappointed. All 27 stated that they wanted no part of socialized "anything" for themselves.

    All are on medicare/medicaid in one form or another and collecting social security checks every month – both of which are socialized programs. When I mentioned this to each and every one of them, they couldn't believe it or were speechless, except for one man who stated that this was diferent because it was going to be Muslim, socialized medicine from Nigeria, where Obama was born.

    Enough said?

    One should read a variety of foreign newservice sites or papers and you will specifically read something to the effect that as great as America is, we are clearly the most uninformed electorate on the planet and easily maneuvered by the powers that be that have an agenda. It's truly sad.

    February 5, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Howard of Alexandria

    Tea Partiers ... the latest in a long line of American whack jobs.

    February 5, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. Marc

    LacrosseMom(the real one) – I make mine your words.

    February 5, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. Dave C - NJ

    Sue is probably the dumbest person that ever posted here.

    Back up ONE of those claims, honey. You are truly sad.

    February 5, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. Susan L.

    Sue, you're ignorant and you show it. You're a disgrace to women with the name Susan (unless you're the eponymous "Boy named Sue", which would explain a lot). You're very good at assertions, but you offer ZERO evidence of any of your contentions, just like the rest of the teabaggers. Believing in something fervently doesn't make it true. Didn't you learn that in regards to Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy?

    February 5, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Marie Laveaux

    To Sue, and all of you who think like she does, where is you proof? What data do you have to substantiate your claims that millions of people who voted for President Obama were illegal aliens? Don't any of you realize how foolish you appear to be? All I can say is Tancredo and the whole bunch of Tea Party people are sick.

    February 5, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    what a pack of lunatics.... does even ONE of them understand what socialism means??? NOPE

    February 5, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Personal to Sue:

    Congratulations for giving us a great example of uneducated!

    February 5, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. johnnie w

    Cnn is just as SICK for even giving the ATTENTION to this MORON RACIIST, and these NOTHINGS ,the Tea Baggers are the most IDIOTS .The President just Cleaned the CLOCKS of the GOP in Baltimore, a few days ago. Those BAGGERS should take a CLOSE LOOK ,at that CLOWN PARTY OF NO, and see THEMSELVES, and that WORD is DUMB,and another word is STUPID. Cnn is the CRUSADER of the GOP, RNC, and should know one thing for SURE, the SMART AMERICAN PEOPLE, are very AWARE ,what CNN is up to, and that is try to take down President Obama, and i got news for the Tea baggera and CNN, America will wake up,and 2010 will see a WAVE OF POWER, even more so ,than 2008.This Tom Tan Weirdo, is a CLOWN, and Dangereous to talk like that about President Obama.This so called grass roots movement is RACIST, with NO AGENDA ,but HATE. And CNN has no class ,even Showing this Nonsense. Cnn is so Palin ,Gop, Rnc, it a SHAMEFULL News Network, like the TEA BAGGERS. More Power to President Obama ,and for the American People, Change is Still on the WAY,but not the TEA BAG WAY.

    February 5, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. Jay

    Given the comments of their first speaker, I would think one of the tea-bagger's "first principles" must include: "I am a proud gun-wielding racist reactionary who deplores anything to do with people of color, people holding other cultural values, people who speak a different language (even though english may be their first language), people who strive to understand another's point of view and compromise for the benefit of all, people who think for themselves, people who believe that the Bill of Rights bolsters the creditbility of the Constitution to the rest of the world, people who believe the strength of our country comes from the rich blend of all it's peoples and values." Notice Sarah, I didn't say, 'retarded' anywhere in my rant.

    February 5, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Nick

    Anybody who complains about socialism needs to stop smoking my pot!! Without it we would not have the great society that we do!! No matter how bad it gets here in the US its better than any other country in the world!!! Without the "socialist" agenda the citizens of this great country would not have PUBLIC SCHOOLS, or a FIRE DEPARTMENT, POLICE DEPARTMENT.. and even evil MEDICARE!!! These teabags are some of the people receiving MEDICARE!!! Who do you think receives government assistance to all these tea bags who just lost their jobs!!!! We the people create jobs.. not the government! So if you want the government out of your lives so bad don't rely on it to shape the future for you!

    February 5, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. greenfish

    I strive to be articulate and not engage in name calling, but this time I can't resist: Tom Tancredo is SHORT.

    The tea baggers have no clue what socialism is, because if they did it would be very obvious that Barack Obama is nowhere close to a socialist.

    Unfortunately it is easier to hate then it is to love.

    February 5, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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