CNN and Tea Party Express to host first-of-its-kind Tea Party presidential primary debate
December 17th, 2010
12:06 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN and Tea Party Express to host first-of-its-kind Tea Party presidential primary debate

Washington (CNN) – CNN is teaming up with the Tea Party Express for a first-of-its-kind presidential primary debate, both organizations announced Friday. The Tea Party debate, featuring 2012 Republican presidential candidates, is scheduled for Labor Day week 2011. It will take place in Tampa, Florida – the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Since the spring of 2009, the Tea Party movement has been increasingly vocal in advocating for less government spending, lower taxes and shrinking the deficit. The Tea Party debate will place specific emphasis on those issues.

Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer talked to CNN about what activists hope to hear from Republican presidential candidates. "We want to hear what their ideas are – what their thoughts are – on turning this economy back around and getting us on a sound economic footing, paying down some of our deficit, getting a balanced budget, and reining in the spending," Kremer said.

Kremer added, "We've proven ourselves in this last campaign, election cycle of 2010, we're the only Tea Party group that engaged in election activity. And we got involved because we simply believed that if we're going to affect change we're going to do it at the ballot box. And the tea party movement has proven how powerful it is."

Sam Feist, CNN Political Director and Vice President of Washington-based programming said, "The Tea Party movement is a fascinating, diverse, grassroots force that already has drastically changed the country's political landscape."

"Undecided voters turn to CNN to educate themselves during election cycles, so it is a natural fit for CNN to provide a platform for the diverse perspectives within the Republican Party, including those of the Tea Party," Feist added.

The announcement of a CNN-Tea Party Express debate comes three days after CNN announced it is joining with WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader to produce the first 2012 Republican Presidential Primary debate in the "First in the Nation" primary state of New Hampshire. That debate is scheduled to take place on June 7, 2011.

Filed under: 2012 • CNN • Republican • Tea Party Express • Tea Party movement
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. concerned liberal

    Now if we could get some air time for the Green Party and possibly Libertarians, we might have some serious debate going on in this country and send the DemoPublicans and Obama packing sometime.

    December 17, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    The Tea Party in part got what it wanted- lower taxes. It also has gotten a less intelligent government and by getting their tax cuts, will have a decades longerer deficit.
    Good work, guys

    December 17, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. blueblood

    WTF ? I watch CNN for reasinably reliable news and suddenly you are trying to outdo Fox News iin giving a forum to fake grass roots groups like Tea Party Express. Stewart and Colbert are the only honesst news shows left !

    December 17, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. mgc florida

    From what i have seen so far the tea party candidates elected are already hypcrites. already moving away from their election promises so what is new???

    December 17, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Tam

    Will this be broadcast on the Comedy Network?

    December 17, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    "It also has gotten a less intelligent government"

    LESS intelligent government????? Did one of the 2 remaining brain cells in Washington die and the other die of lonliness?

    December 17, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. vic nashville tn

    CNN really do you need this kind of debate

    1991 first time I watched CNN first show Larry King last night was sad at the same time Larry got good farewell made me happy

    Past 19 years you are doing great Job you don’t need this kind of debate please

    December 17, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    "Stewart and Colbert are the only honesst news shows left !"

    I'm speechless. Congratulations, NEA... as ye sow, so shall ye reap.

    December 17, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. CNN lies

    INTERNAL MEMO FROM CNN LEAKED: An internal memo from CNN executives leaked Friday shows that the network deliberately keeps its viewers uninformed and disproportionately covers 'human interest' stories relating to obscure illnesses, Facebook, and Sarah Palin. Turner Broadcasting CEO Philip Kent was quoted in the memo saying "lets not cover the tax stuff as much as palin and human interest. thats wat our viewers and readers on rely want!" More on this story as it develops...

    December 17, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. js007

    Hey, CNN, the brain-dead market segment is being expertly served by Fox "News", so go back to running toilet clips because that's where your shameless pandering has taken your ratings. A legitimate news organization should know better than to legitimize astro-turf political organizations like the Tea Party Express. Pick something – jounalism like that of Fareed Zakaria or right wing propaganda like that of Fox – you can't be both.

    December 17, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. progpatrick

    Great job CNN.. let's use the mainstream media to push the ideals of a small minority who are fighting against thier own intrests. Is it just me or does anyone else find it troubling that a news organization would team up with a fringle political organization?

    December 17, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. clare knight

    Let me guess: Candy Crowley will host it! "Diverse"? You must be kidding! How much diversity is there to be found among racists and bigots? One size pretty much fits all...

    December 17, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Someone asked if it would be broadcast on the Comedy Channel. I doubt it because this is more geared to the Cartoon Network. It will be amusing to see the 'Less taxes for the wealthy, less spending, greater national security; no Social Security, Medicare, or VA; no GI Bill, smaller government but more agents monitoring bedrooms, no help for middle America, all in the name of Christ' crowd overcome their own hypocrisy.

    December 17, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Libertaro2

    Much feedback from TP supporters indicates that they don't want it on CNN either! Finally, something on which we can agree.

    December 17, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. LB in FL

    Careful there CNN. A new study finds that folks who get their (mis)information exclusively from Fox News are the most misinformed and wrong on the facts of major news stories, politics and policies. I would sure hate to see next year's study that shows CNN is running a close second. Is it really worth the risk getting into bed with these liars? Doesn't really matter to me. I don't watch either of you. I used to tune into CNN all the time. But since you got scared and turned into Fox Lite, I've been done with you for over a year. Sure hope you enjoy your tea!

    December 17, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Jack

    Hey CNN–why not team up with the John Birch Society and sponsor debates? Or Glenn Beck?

    December 17, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. mesamick

    Tune in if you're really into wild-eyed screeds about more tax cuts for the top 2%ers, ending SocSec and Medicaid, the righteousness of free market-based BoneherCare, exiling progressives and secularists and of course replacing the constitution with the bible and making this a truly "Chrizzjun Nation"...

    December 17, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Mad man

    Libtard idiots think America is in dire need of fundamental change, their change, change to forget the religious based beliefs of morality, change to promote bad behaviour, change to reward failure, change to exploit one's earnings to pay for someone else, change to surrender one's individual liberties and change to punish exceptionalism. Of course this is approximately 20% of the voting population that is completely removed from reality, to my focal point for the necessity of establishing a National soylent green plant in support of climate change and jobs creation. Sign up for participants is available at your local SEIU Union, ACORN and all Democratic Party offices.

    December 17, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. Jaywing

    So we're going to see racist, bigoted, ignorant white folks debate other racist, bigoted, ignorant white folks who agree with them about being racist, bigoted, ignorant white folks. Some debate. After they all agree, within the first 5 minutes, that they're all racist, bigoted, ignorant white folks, what will they do with the rest of their time? Perhaps bash anyone who isn't racist, bigoted, ignorant and white?

    December 17, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Liars

    CNN is sitting in the corner wondering "Why doesn't anybody like me?!" Well it's because you do stuff like granting the Tea Party legitimacy. Now that the election is over, so is the Tea Party. They managed to rally the forces of ignorance to cut taxes for the rich so their job is done. I don't know if it will be so easy to get old racists to support privatizing social security, but I wouldn't put it past them. CNN, you make me sick.

    December 17, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. rob

    CNN has been belittling these groups since they started. Why do they want to team up with them? THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT GROUP IN POLITICS TODAY AND CNN KNOWS THAT THEY ARE LOSING AUDIENCE
    You can tell from the posts here that the usual CNN viewer and reader are stunned that the normal slanted news stories have led to the decline in CNN. Sorry folks the country is coming out of the ether and getting info from a variety of sources.

    December 17, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    Nice to see CNN, the Most Trusted Name in News, teaming up with right wing extremists. Who would have thought?

    December 17, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Meteorite

    I live in Tampa and I am disgusted that the Republicants and Tea Baggers are coming to my town. Let them take their fear-mongering and bigotry somewhere else, With their Christian fundamentalism and love of firearms, they look like a Christian-American version of the Taliban. Don't dirty up our Tampa and don't let the door hit you in your racist butt on the way out.

    December 17, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  24. once upon a horse

    Labor Day huh? Well I am guessing by that time the Tea Party candidates should be good and angry because they'll either see the economy has started to turn around under President Obama, and/or the GOP Congress they helped vote in is so inept and they found out they had been used by them to get into office and then forgotten like they did the religious right. Should be a fun time for this "grass roots" organization.

    December 17, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Meteorite

    And CNN – please stop legitimizing this American Taliban/Tea Baggers. Where was the offer to team up with the Green Party and sponsor a debate between Nader and the major candidates, back when Nader was banned from the debates? Nader has 100 times more intelligence and credibility than the entire Tea Bag party combined.

    December 17, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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