Battle over who speaks for Tea Party movement
November 22nd, 2010
01:14 PM ET
11 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.

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soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Me

    how about a policy platform to define your party.
    Other than being leader less, without a basic policy platform, it appears that the group is based on blind raging ignorance of government and the issues and acute well focused hatred.

    November 22, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The tea party like most uninformed Americans don't understand the powers that run this country and it ain't them. So make all the demands you wish and claim fame to whatever you wish, it will fall on deaf ears. The powers that run this country will never kneel down, they may throw you a few feel good crumbs and that's it.

    November 22, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Don

    And the collapse begins.

    November 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. LovesIrony

    Tea Partier A to Tea Partier B. You are not Hateful enough to be in our nonparty! Tea Partier B to Tea Partier A Just as long as they Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare!

    November 22, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    This sounds like an argument between two people who want to monitor the level of an open cesspool and who want to take credit for the stench. WHO would want to do that? The level of blatant hypocrisy and abject stupidity in the Tea Party and their adherents is absolutely staggering.

    November 22, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. ModernMan

    Does anyone proofread this stuff? I have been seeing more and more of this, blatant spelling errors, letters missing, the same sentence or phrase repeated twice. I type terribly, but I don't work for a news agency! Could someone, please, look at the stories before you post it?!

    November 22, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. once upon a horse

    just WHAT have the Republicans done for the gay movement in America? Why are there groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and now the GOProud group...the far right wing of the GOP wants NOTHING to do with them. When did the GOP stand up for and fight for equal rights of gay people? Please tell me because I think I may have missed that part of history.

    November 22, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Laverne

    This is the problem with the Tea Party, they act if America owe them something. Still waiting to hear any solutions, even one solution these people can come up with. We can thank John McCain and his staff for where we are today with this looney tunes. I tell you, Sarah Palin may be the one front and center on her quest to become president, but it is her husband who has largely remained behind the scenes who will probably be calling the shots if Americans were drunk enough to vote this woman in and Todd Palin has some very extreme views about how this country should be ran. I say watch out for Todd and Sarah Palin and stop watching and waiting to see if President Obama is the antichrist!

    November 22, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Edwin

    What a frightening world we would live in if the Tea Party got its way. The only part of their platform I remotely agree with is the possibility of cutting spending, and I don't believe they will do it with the country's best interests at heart.

    Cutting spending *sounds* good, but it won't happen in places it matters. Rather, they will gut education (since conservatives don't like public schools anyway). They will eliminate things like crisis care for abused women, money for infrastructure improvements, and support for police and firefighters (they always do). Then they will complain that crime rates are up and the roads are falling apart.

    November 22, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. A Bloke

    The Tea Party letter ... I didn't think they could write. Just look at some of their placards. They carry misspelling to a new high.

    November 22, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. mesamick

    Teatards and GOPers can't agree on what time it is let alone a meaningful action plan for governance. You voted for it 'Merica now you got it. Let the chaos begin and in the mean time...Hey Boneher...WHERE'S THE JOBS YOU RIGHT-WINGERS PROMISED TO GET ELECTED? Bectha they are right there next to the extension of the UI benefits. Now,as for those tax cuts for the rich before xmas you're on it like stink on $#!t right?

    November 22, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. GI Joe

    Oh my - who will lead those who won't be lead?

    November 22, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Battle over who speaks for Tea Party movement
    Won't they need to find someone who can read, write, and speak first in complete, coherent sentences?

    Let's see: No help for Planned Parenthood, the gays, the immigrants, but keep all the services for the ELDERLYbecause they
    have so much to give.

    November 22, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. LeftCoast

    Has anyone else noticed the absence of any articles concerning Nancy Pelosi refusing to step aside? CNN wrote nothing about any contentious battle within the Democratic party yet we have another story about another so called 'battle' within the Tea Party. The Rebuplican party has successfully been transformed by/through/as a result of the Tea Party and CNN constantly tries to portray this negatively with a barrage of articles on so called 'battles' and 'conflicts.' The Democratic party suffers a historic beating and has its liberal philosophy soundly rejected by the voters, does nothing to change itself and CNN finds that non-newsworthy.

    November 22, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. steven harnack

    They consist of 2% of the populace and they run around like chickens with their heads cut off. They don't need that part anyway because they think with their guts , right? Tell me again why I would care what these idiots have to say about anything.

    November 22, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Lisa P

    So the "Fiscal Conservative" coat comes off and - what's this underneath? - the same old same old social and religious conservatives that continue to lose traction with every passing year.

    I can't wait to hear the "fiscally conservative" argument for forcing a woman to have a baby she doesn't want. After someone lets loose with the budget savings to be had by forcing gay and lesbian military personnel to lie about their sexuality.

    The Tea Party is just a new stick for the same old bullies to beat up on anyone they don't like or think they can get away with scapegoating. A new bottle for the same pitiful brew.

    November 22, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Terry

    Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up. My only question is - Who Cares?

    November 22, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    Who leads the Tea Party? That's easy: The Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Rush, Glenn, and Sarah. The rest of them can bicker all they want, but they will never cross their funders or public faces.

    November 22, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. W L Jones

    Wouldn^t it be nice if we spent more time in a ( liberal ) class rather than riding around the country on a conservative bug(b) at taxpayer expense.

    November 22, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. Cincinnatian

    The Tea Party cannot be taken seriously because they do not agree on what they stand for.
    It sure appears that the Tea Party is a bunch of angry, mostly white people, "educated" by Fox News.
    The ultra right-wing media uses smoke and mirrors of this vocal but small minority as an attempt to incite fear and gain control.
    The vast majority of Americans see right through it...No REAL power.

    November 22, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. QS

    "we are a large cross section of this movement and we want to tell you what this movement wants,"

    Why does the TP try to keep up this charade of appearing to harass the republicans, when for all intents and purposes both groups share the same fundamental ideology....conservatism for all, and discrimination for all who disagree.

    I'd be willing to bet that if the original letter that was written had been written by any other GOP group besides GOProud that they wouldn't have reacted so vehemently.

    Do conservatives even understand that to be considered a conservative literally means wanting to keep things the way they are? The very concept of conservatism in today's society, and in a global society, is nothing more than an exercise in futility.

    November 22, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  22. paul

    A poll showing that only 17% of the voters in the last election said it was a "mandate" for Republicans should send a message to the tea baggers and others that the voting public can change in a heartbeat. Don't assume because you won a few seats that the general public believes in taking the country back to a time when there was no civil rights, no medicare and social security, no womens's voting rights, etc. It was an election about the state of the economy and nothing more.

    November 22, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Wow! If that letter from GOProud was quoted verbatim then the Gay Tea Partiers have no better grammar than do the non-gay Tea Partiers. This almost reminds me of the first gubernatorial debate between Foley and Malloy each accusing the other of lying about the other's record.

    November 22, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Mike Hawthorne

    Your Republicans seem like sharks. Got a taste of blood from the elections and now they've already started fighting each other over the carcass. Here comes the jockeying for position of power in the new world order. Should be entertaining, at least for those who won't be affected by the upcoming circus of madness.

    November 22, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    CNN should have proofreaders before posting a story.....!!! I know I have typos but Dang, if I were a Journalist I would at least do a Spell Check and have a proofreader!!

    "...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"

    Yea, RIGHT – The ONLY thing you will get out of the above is – MAYBE – Cut Spending!! And that CUT will be a Drop in the BUCKET!!

    The country is DIVIDED and BOTH halves are separated by a MIDDLE!!! So DON’T Tread on ME and I WON’T tread on YOU!!!

    I am going to get behind our current leader, President Obama, as he continues to Move America Forward!!

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