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. Les


    So what you are saying is that YOU are highly educated on the facts regarding the percentage of illiterate and illegal voters in this country of ours and most Democrats are stupid? Perhaps you should educate YOURSELF about the facts and stop forming a decision based on rotating opinions speakers and radical blogs. Perhaps you should educate yourself about the definition of socialism and stop using sound bites that are handed to you on a platter from the radical power mongers.

    There is nothing black and white about politics. Have you thought about examining every topic separately instead of lumping it into one category – “socialist?”
    News these days is politically motivated and full of opinions for the sole purpose of fulfilling someone's personal agenda. If you rely on someone else to fill your head, then essentially you are their pawn in the game of politics.

    Generalizing leads to ignorance, racism, disappointment and hatred. Stop trying to find someone to blame for your unhappiness and start trying to find solutions.

    My Opinion.

    February 5, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    Republicans are of the mind set that President Obama is a Socialist and was elected by people that can't read or write or make decisions for themselves.

    If that is the case, what does it say for the Republicans that voted against him and lost to a group of Socialist that are uneducated and unable to make decisions for themselves?

    February 5, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. ran

    Tancredo could not be more wrong and the republicans' fear/hate/obstructionist/purist ideology will be their undoing.

    We will not go back to the past of slavery ,women suffrage ,corporations over the people, segregation, anti-abortions, gays in the closets. Republicans need to change and soon or they will be left behind for good.

    A new day has come and in 2010/2012 the Republicans and "tea party" are in for a rude awakening when they lose big time.

    February 5, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Shelly

    Ignorant fools.Their understanding of the world is extremely minute and the only scary word they know is ' Socialist'

    Oh my, I am scared. Fools.

    February 5, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. D.D.

    Does not one of the leaders have an office in a Republican office? I think some of these citizens have good intentions and have a statement or two with indeptness and some just have a clash with our President and acting like the Party of No. I wish they could move the GOP/ Snakes to do something. Currently all they do is spit venom.
    Tea Party Members, find respectful leaders- not one that reportedly did not pay taxes on her cabins and had her staff to hide money so she could get a personal item plugged or get a plane, government one for her children. Is she ino government so mch she plays the political game- have Todd Palin to speak- he is the Jenna Sandford behind Sarah.Pick the right at least he wanted out of the USA- maybe some of the Tea Party citizens.

    February 5, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. barton

    These people complain that Pres. Obama is "socialist" and is going to turn out county into a "European" style country and government. I can't say that I want to be European but what exactly is so horrible about the UK, France, Italy, Germany ... the EU in general? Have you people been to these countries? Worrying about become like a European country is like an aligator worrying that it will become a crocodile. It's different, but is it really something that should scare people? These people are very odd and have mental illness.

    February 5, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. oxbobend

    Tangredo says that many of those that voted for Obama don't know the basics of this country. I've voted in every election since the 60's, and I think I understand the basics of this country. But I know I have made mistakes. I voted for GWB for his first term. What a disappointment. I will try to understand these basics a little more.

    February 5, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Phil

    The US is still young. It shows in the political immaturity people like Tancredo and his Tea Party followers exhibit. Obama a "socialist ideologue?" Absurd. What's next on Tancredo's list–throw out Social Security, Medicare, the National Guard, the Federal Reserve, etc.? People like this are a danger to democracy. Small minds can make big problems.

    February 5, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. Karl

    The sad truth is that so many of these people believe what others tell then to believe. So many believe that those that voted demo this past year were unemployed and looking for a handout. I voted for him and continue to support him because I believe that we can do better. I only wish that these tea baggers would read and really learn the truth and not just repeat talking points.

    February 5, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  10. SVCraig

    This country was founded by the rich for the rich. The rest of us are just fodder. The Tea Baggers are mainly comprised of the wealthy citizens of this country who are afraid of losing their wealth (or at least a chunk of it). They blame Obama for the nations fiscal problems, but didn't these problems surface during the Bush administration? The TBs protest taxes, but taxes have not changed since Obama was elected. Why didn't they protest against taxes during Bush's tenure? Let them continue to spew their venom. That is their right. Hopefully, not to many Americans will take these sad, scared lunatics too seriously.

    February 5, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. Susan

    Tancredo and the Tea Partyers and Sarah Palin have turned the US into a political soap opera. A nation and culture usually collapse from within. They're working on making it happen.

    February 5, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Karl

    Sue really scares me. She takes and talking point and runs with it. The sad point is she really really believes what they tell her to believe.

    February 5, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. T'SAH from Virginia

    If the TEA PARTY MOVEMENT was so RIGHT and LQQK-N out for ALL Americans – they why are the participants all WHITE???? Why are the numbers of the gatherings so SMALL????

    If this was truly a MOVEMENT for a JUST CAUSE – you will see diversity in the crowds and the numbers in the MILLIONS!!! Case and POINT!!

    This is a RACIST group that is against President Obama ONLY!!!!! If President Obama was WHITE and doing all that President Obama is doing NOW – there will not be a Tea Party MOVEMENT!!! PERIOD!!!

    February 5, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. george from alaska

    "The Washington Post is trying hard to take the pressure off the White House by creating a side controversy, but it is missing the point: as the Governor has said, it doesn't matter who says the 'r' word: it should no longer be part of our lexicon," she said.

    Stapelton is Palin's spokesperson.

    Hey, is there anybody in there Palin camp? Palin is NOT the Governor!

    February 5, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. carlos

    Imust say to sue......you are so ignorant that words will not resonate with you........and as for the T baggers: let`s take away their socialist police, firemen, medicare, medicaid and their highways......those are all SOCIALIST programs they are against, but everyone of these amorals will take their social security benefits which we, hard working americans are paying for, to destroy their own country.......THEY HATE AMERICA....they should be at the bottom of the ocean......as for that bag of dirt, tancredo.....filth fills his brain

    February 5, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Jackalope

    The Teabaggers are the Timothy McVeigh wing of the Republican party. Sad thing is, when conditions are favorable for it, people like them can harness the anger of an otherwise civilized population and seize control. It happened in Germany in the 1930s.

    February 5, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. New York

    Johnny W. What are you smoking? CNN is and always has been a very liberal network. I think you are thinking of Fox. Watch that channel for a while and then think of CNN.

    February 5, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Sue

    In California...........A Democratic politician was caught on video encouraging illegals to come out and vote for her-–and all other Democrats. I forget her name.

    In Texas---illegals were caught voting in their elections.

    In Nevada--SEIU (where a lot of illegals are employed)---also connected to ACORN--–assisted/supported/encouraged illegals to vote in the elections.

    SEIU---one of the largest unions/labor organizations in the country--which also ADMITTEDLY employs millions of illegals.

    February 5, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Jay

    As Forrest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get." But in the case of the tea-baggers, all the chocolates in the box are filled with poo - admittedly different kinds of poo, but poo nonetheless.

    February 5, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. jj

    As usual CNN!

    February 5, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Pete

    Second article about Tancredo's speech, and neither of them mentioned that he said that literacy tests should be a condition for being allowed to vote. Never mind that "literacy tests" were a favorite trick of Segregationists in the South to deny blacks the right to vote.

    Conservatives want to suppress voting, because they can't win in a real straight up election.

    February 5, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  22. Rival Church

    I believe in different points of view, but they need to informed, fact based arguments. This group is ill informed and ignorant of the facts. They are simply deranged

    February 5, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. Robert in Texas

    Here we are now with the Tea Baggers and their red-faced racist ranting trying to appeal to the toothless ignorant bubbas in the South. They already elect a bunch of cranky old out-of-touch republicans – what else do they want?

    February 5, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. Carrie

    Very scary , kinda like white supremists holding a convention , very little difference!

    I for one am educated and can say vote in English and spell it too! I voted for Pres Obama because I think he was the better choice for the times we are in. I did vote for change but change comes slowly , he did not promise a rose garden , just a lot of hard work and teamwork. But due to the party of NO , it cannot happen!!!!

    Now what we have is a hate group hiding behind misguided values .


    February 5, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Bush's Favorite Things: Blanky, Bikey & Nappy

    I'm surprised these teabaggers could understand anything beyond monosyllabic Palinese and racial slurs.

    February 5, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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