Battle over who speaks for Tea Party movement
November 22nd, 2010
01:14 PM ET
12 years ago

Battle over who speaks for Tea Party movement

(CNN)– A letter by a large group of Tea Party movement leaders to the top two Republicans in Congress that fires back at a gay conservative group is now itself receiving incoming fire.

The letter by Tea Party Nation and signed by approximately 150 other movement leaders, appears to be in response to a similar letter last week that was put out by GOProud and signed by 17 other Tea Party activist leaders that called for congressional Republicans to deal with fiscal issues right away rather than social issues.

The new letter, put out this weekend by Judson Phillips, the founder of the Tea Party Nation and the man who organized and held the first national Tea Party convention in Nashville, Tennessee in February, starts with a response to GOProud: "Last Monday, a small group of non-Tea Party, non-conservatives, released a letter, trying to claim leadership of the Tea Party Movement and purporting to tell you what the Tea Party movement wants."

Phillips argues that GOProud is not now, nor has it ever been, a part of the Tea Party movement.

Hours later, GOProud responded.

"A letter signed mostly by members of Tea Party groups rather than leaders of Tea Party groups rather than leaders of Tea Party groups seems like an awfully cheap way to try to make it look like you have a lot of signatories. I mean f we asked for anyone associated with the Tea Party movement to sign our letter we could have 5 times that in 24 hours," says GOProud Chairman Christopher Barron. "Second, the letter itself is funny. They only bring up one point GOProud would disagree with – Don't Ask, Don't Tell – and our letter had nothing to do with DADT. Seems they wrote a letter that confirms, rather than refutes, our letter."

The main part of Phillips letter urges Republican Congressional leaders Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell to defund the new health care law, cut spending, eliminating government subsidies to groups like Planned Parenthood, reduce taxes, ban any type of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and fight the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," which bans openly gay troops for serving in the military.

"We are the people that helped get conservatives elected on November 2. While we do not peak for this movement as a whole, we are a large cross section of this movement and we want to tell you what this movement wants," states the letter.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. TeeParti

    The GOP elects would be wise to stay away from social issues and focus on the economy and debt.

    November 22, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Just by sheer, blind, luck, aided by near-socialist leaders of the Democratic Party, the GOP has come back from its near-death experience. It would be sad if they blew it by splintering on the divisive issue of "social values." The only thing the Tea Parties, the neo-cons, and the traditional Republicans have in common is at least an avowed intent to stop the Dems from bankrupting the country. That is the only thing that matters now.

    November 22, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Max

    The American public is slowly being turned into the Grinch by partisan fear mongering. I sincerely hope everyone puts some heart and compassion on the top of their wish list for christmas, chanukah, etc. this year, because we seem to be lacking more in that department than we are economically.

    November 22, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Jack

    Intresting how opinionated they are now that they have power

    November 22, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. diridi

    call that another idiot, pat buchannon....he is good...

    November 22, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Noocrat

    Gay conservative seems like an oxymoron to me... Why support the people openly against you having equal rights? It would be like an African American supporting a group that was fighting for segregation...

    November 22, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Ken, AZ

    Funny, he didn't memtion eliminating subsidies for the oil industry, mega-farms, or any of the conservative's other darling special interests. What a crock these groups are.

    November 22, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. GL

    What a joke Congress is going to be in Jan.

    November 22, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
1 2