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. Hugo

    I believe teabaggers are everyday people that are fed up with our Government not taking care of our own taxpaying citizens, the illegals is just the stick in the eye. Our government has taken the way of our legal system to where the criminals have more rights and privileges than the victims. Political correctness has gone awry, you can only bleed the American people so long with lies and deception, the movement is about out of control government, look around for God's sake. The Party is also comprised mainly of the Independents that typically win the election for either party, so you liberals should remember that come 2010 and 2012!

    February 5, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. David Duke

    C'mon give Tancredo a break, he thought he was speaking at a Klan Rally.

    Well, on second thought, maybe he was!

    February 5, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. John

    Tea partiers = Pinhead rubes led around by the nose by Faux News.

    They'll make a lot of noise for the moment but will soon fade away like Jesse Ventura and the "Reform" Party. Remember them? lol.

    February 5, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Bill

    Wow...you liberals are sure hot over this one. I'm particularly amused by the illiterate, bumbling ranting of several of you who at the same time are (I believe) trying to paint these Tea Party folks as stupid. Pretty funny and ironic.

    Here's how Obama got elected: He said "vote for me and I'll give you more money than you've got now." That's it. Surprise surprise...he got lots of votes.

    As for "backing up" Sue's assertions about voter fraud, all you have to do is look back over the headlines from about a month after the election and you'll find plenty of them relating to questionable (if not illegal) voter registration practices conducted by ACORN. Or are you REALLY wanting to defend ACORN as a great organization when even your own Dem leadership has distanced itself from it.

    Finally, please try to get it through your craniums that asserting that Obama is a Socialist is NOT the same thing as saying we should have NO socialized programs. I don't mind some of them, but I think they should be used sparingly rather than be the norm, and THAT is the essence of the concerns that Tea Party people have...namely that a leader with Socialist leanings will push way too many programs that are socialist in nature.

    Oh, and thanks again, Dems, for demonstrating that the most vile, hateful, antagonistic, self-righteous but somehow amazingly wrong comments continue to come from the Left. You are the most hateful people I've ever come across.

    February 5, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. Allen

    Tea Party = A great reason to invest in the straightjacket industry.

    February 5, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. Bill

    @ "Johnnie", who said:

    "Cnn is just as SICK for even giving the ATTENTION to this MORON RACIIST, and these NOTHINGS ,the Tea Baggers are the most IDIOTS ."

    Wow. Seriously??? Wow. 🙂

    February 5, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Paul H

    (Socialists inspired by the Soviet model of economic development have advocated the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production. Modern social democrats also promote tax-funded welfare programs and regulation of markets; many, particularly in European welfare states, refer to themselves as socialists, despite holding pro-capitalist viewpoints, thus adding ambiguity to the meaning of the term "socialist".) These are just a few random sentences off of Wikipedia. If your really listening to our President, or looking at some of the things that he has done while in office so far you can see clearly his political agenda, and views lean toward socialism. You don't have to be a tea bagger to see that. The only way you miss this is if you really don't care, or understand the ramifications of giving up just that much more of our freedoms to government.

    February 5, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. gary davis harbor oregon

    so now we change hail hitler to hail tancredo !!! now thats sick and thats what the tea party is the begining of hate and racist devide . they are till a small group but its like any decease it will catch on and grow .until someone wipes them out . freedom is earned from americas battle for freedom . these few idiots are just the opposite of freedom . its all about a small group of racist biggots wanting to have control of the people CEO'S and republican leaders sicko's 🙂

    February 5, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. mel

    my favorite part of the speech was when he said that they did not believe in multiculturalism and would take the country back – so jeff – guess that's not racism. let's keep america white

    February 5, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. CJG

    It is people like Sue that give the baggers their voice. Albeit a voice based on lies not truth.

    February 5, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. cardog

    Don't these people get sick & tired of being sick & tired? THis belief that our president is a socialist/communist borders on the line of treason in my book. Knowing that the freedom we have in this country allows these idiots to say these things just goes to prove that this is the greatest country in the world Let's look at the facts: 1) had this gone into a depression during 2009, President Obama would have been blamed for that. 2) Had nothing been done about the housing situation, Obama would have been more at blame for that. 3) Had we not returned to a dialog with our friends in Europe and yes the Middle East, President Obama would be blamed worse then he is. What I'm getting at is this.
    This young President is going to be wrong no matter what he does or does not do. These people (Tea Baggers, Birthers & Republicans) simply do not want him as their president. It is so obvious and the great thing about all of this is they may be idiots but they are not dumb enough to say how they really feel. They want to take THEIR?? country back, It's all about the economy ( In the tank before President Obama) took office? I could respect these people if they were truthfull and up front with their problem with President Obama.
    The majority in this country (silent at the moment) elected this man. Those that did vote for Barrak Obama understand that he cannot fix this problem over-nite, nor is it not seen that the Republican party has done nothing but obstruct everything this President stands for. The reasons are as plain as the nose on my face and quite frankly it's starting to pi– me off.
    This coming November will tell me a lot about the state of the electorate. If this country decides to let the very people that got us in the shape we are, return to power and/or a majority, then all I can say is we deserve what we get.....

    February 5, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Chad

    Dear Sue,

    I feel sorry for you. Do you understand what socialism means? Social security is a social program. So is medicare. So is public education (both public schools and public Univ.), your local fire department, police and the US Postal Service. All paid for by tax dollars(either state or federal)...or society if you will. Hence the term "social-ism." Basically what you are saying is, to you, that money is more important than life. You choose dollars and cents over life and death. What a "Christian" way of you to think.

    Do you understand why these programs I mentioned are not private? Do you want the police telling you they won't come to your house because you haven't paid up? Do you want your house to burn down because your neighborhood is poor? Of course not! People would die, right? Why is it ok for the medical industry to this, but not ok for the fire department or police? Get it together sister!

    February 5, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |

    You bunch of progressive government leeches can spew anything you want. This man-child of a President has no clue as to what he's doing. Just remember we are "SILENT NO MORE" so get used to it!!

    February 5, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  14. Heather from Beautiful Seattle

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

    Funny that's exactly how most intelligent people view the teabag followers Mr. Phillips!!!

    February 5, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. George S

    Seems to me that the only Tea these uneducated plebians know or understand is: shi_T;sno_T or far_T. That about sums up their combined total intellect.

    February 5, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. sheppard

    Suesuesuesuesue..... I just love folks who spout all kinds of extremist rhetoric with no pesky lil facts to back up any of it. I think you are sarah if I wasn't good-lookin would be working at Mickie Ds palin in disguise. Good try but a moron is a moron is a moron.

    February 5, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  17. cardog

    While this blog is still open to comment I thought I would address all the bloggers that responded to Sue. It's a given that this person (Sue) is an idiot that don't know her behind from her elbow. But what I want to remind all of you, including myself, is this.
    It's people like Sue that are very vocal, very opinionated, full of false information, that make it appear that the country has truned on this young President.
    Democrats, young & old need to speak up. You need to tell your weak kneed representatives, both the House and the Senate, that you are angry also and want them to do their dam job(s) . We need to get up off of our behinds and participate in the process. Have we forgotten that we won, the Republicans lost. There was no such thing as a Tea Party until Barrak Obama was elected (question why that is). There was no such thing as Birthers (question why that is). The Republican party in my book use to a sense of fair play and decency, that is no longer the case. Stand up people (the majority) and let's support our President. Stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.

    February 5, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  18. Pat

    Well, I was thinking I was an Independent but these kinda comments by Tea Party and GOP purity tests are pushing back left. This is scary stuff coming from Tancredo.

    February 5, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. Pat-San Jose CA

    Dear Sue and others who think like you. You have to be a US citizen to vote, so your statement about illegals voting is just plain false. Once you have been vetted as a citizen by the registrar of voters, you are added to the voter rolls. So it would be reasonable to require voters to bring proof of citizenship to the voting booth. Also, the majority of voters who voted for Obama were sick of the Bush years. That makes them more educated than you, who sat on your hands for 8 years while GWB drove this country into the ground. BTW, I have voted Repub and Demo, but am now Independent.

    February 5, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. Pat-San Jose CA

    Sorry, typo: meant to say it would be UNreasonable to require proof of citizenship at the voter booth.

    February 5, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  21. CJA/Independent voter

    Are these the same people who called Obama an elitist? Dear Republicans, I am the voter you are trying to lure to your side. I am the Independent person who (allegedly) listens to both sides and will sometimes hold great sway over an election. So, you just slammed those who supported Obama, basically calling them uneducated and illegal. In addition to the multiple intolerant comments your keynote speaker (and therefore the guy you have chosen to represent you to the world), you have insulted ME....the voter you want to lure to your side. I supported Obama in the last election because he was the most intelligent candidate. I did not want a president who sang "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb....Iran" I did not want a VP who clearly needs some personal growth before leading a powerful country. I have a Master's Degree....I am NOT uneducated. You have now convinced me that I will never vote Republican. You are the bad guys......

    February 5, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. The Dude

    His speech was proof that the T-baggers are a group comprised of mostly ignorant racists.

    February 5, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    you think this is fun..the BIG fun comes tomorrow when sister Sarah speaks but I must admit ol' Tommy is gonna be a hard act to follow. Personally I'm happy that the Tea Party is getting all this coverage this weekend and we have people here like "Sue" come out and say what they really think. It shows just what you're dealing with and the front that this group was for betterment of the country and smaller goverment is turning to be a CROCK. Looks to me like an expensive KKK meeting and if both were having conventions there at the same time I doubt if you could tell the difference.

    February 5, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  24. steve fielder

    These "Tea-Party" people are living proof that fear, ignorance and hatred are a dangerous combination; especially in a free society where they have the legal right to incite and propagandize. It seems that many of the people involved in this movement are looking for reasons to justify bigotry, anxiety, and jealousy and they'll latch on to anyone who plays to their fears and promises them easy solutions to complex problems.

    February 5, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  25. Louis

    The world has changed a lot since the 50"s. Complex problems demand complex situations, not old, tired messages that have been played ( and not worked).

    We all want lower taxes but then you will pay for the services we want and demand from our government?

    How can people DEMAND the government "Not touch my medicare" yet not know that it is a GOVERNMENT RUN PROGRAM? Can you imagine the outcry if someone would actually suggest cutting MEDICARE?

    We have to face facts, some folks really don't have the good, common sense that God gave them. Can you hate the fact that the US has elected a black man as president, and even though you claim you are not racist, your actions and words suggest otherwise?

    We are not going to be fooled again by you "patriots". We have lived and suffered under your ways for the last 8 years and if you think they were the best years, you are really drinking the spiked Kool-Aid.

    February 5, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
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