[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.
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