Tea Party activist to GOP: 'Take off your lace panties,' cut more from the budget
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN, walks to her car after speaking at a Tea Party rally at the Robert A. Taft Memorial March 31, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
March 31st, 2011
05:27 PM ET
9 years ago

Tea Party activist to GOP: 'Take off your lace panties,' cut more from the budget

Washington (CNN) - Some conservative Tea Party activists attending a rally on Capitol Hill Thursday pushed for deeper cuts to the federal budget with many saying if more spending isn't slashed - they believe that government operations should go dark.

One activist - Kathy Dirr who resides in Speaker John Boehner's Ohio district - used stark language as she spoke to the crowd, urging House Republican leadership to, "take off your lace panties" and push for deeper cuts.

This comes as Democrats and Republicans continue to engage in the political equivalent of stare down negotiations over the budget.

At the rally, sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots, lawmakers and activists spoke to what appeared to be a few hundred supporters. Among the speakers were Representatives Steve King of Iowa, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin.

Another speaker, Republican Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, echoed the sentiment of many conservatives.

"With a deficit this year of $1.65 trillion and a national debt of $14 trillion and a defiant liberal majority in the Senate, it is time to pick a fight," Pence thundered in front of the grassroots activists.

"If liberals in the Senate would rather play political games and shut down the government instead of making a small down payment on fiscal discipline and reform I say, shut it down," Pence added.

Pence's comments appear to be different than those of House Speaker John Boehner, who said it was Democrats that welcomed a shutdown.

Boehner talked to reporters on Thursday saying, "Now, here is the bottom line: Democrats are rooting for a government shutdown." He added, "We are listening to the people who sent us here to cut spending so that we can grow our economy. As I have said from the beginning our goal is to cut spending not shut down the government."

Fellow Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota took a similar tact as she spoke at the rally.

"[Democrats] They've got their fingers crossed right now that the government will shut down," Bachmann claimed. "That's their plan. They want to shut the government down and they want to turn you into their scapegoat and say it is the Tea Party's fault for shutting the government down. Now, the cat is out of the bag. We know who has no interest in negotiating. It's Harry Reid. It's the big liberals over in the Senate."

And yet the message from Bachmann and Boehner ran directly counter to those of some Tea Party supporters.

"We're very concerned about the fact that the Republicans in congress are not taking a strong enough stand in relation to insisting on serious budget cuts," Robin Maas, a Tea Party supporter, said. "I'm not the slightest bit worried about a government shut down. I think we find out that there are many things government does that we really don't need to keep this country going. And a government shutdown would actually save us some money."

"I don't want them to waive on this $100 billion cut to our budget. We need it bad," John Sanders, also a Tea Party supporter, said. "I want the $100 billion they [Republicans] promised us. I say shut the government down. Let's go for it."

Recent polling shows they are not alone.

A fresh CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey asked if a government shutdown, for a few days, would be good for the country. Twenty-one percent of Democrats said yes, 35 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans agreed. But 62 percent of Tea Party supporters said a shutdown of a few days would do the country good.

Dirr told the crowd that she drove from Ohio last night to attend the rally.

"The [Republican] leadership is worried about a government shut down and they're worried about future elections," Dirr said.

"And to me that's like a house that's burning to the ground and the Republicans won't put out the fire because they're afraid that some water might splash on a nearby house. I say to the Republican leadership: take off your lace panties, stop being noodle backs, take a strong, bold, unwavering stand for the American people."

–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: Budget • Kathy Dirr • Tea Party
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Concerned Citizen

    Maybe it is not a bad idea to shut down the goby. There are several second and third order effects to consider. First, critical structure like military and law enforcement will continue to function. This is the area in which the federal govt should be operating. Second, we will not be spending while the govt is shut down. Third, hopefully the dead beats leaching off the tax payers of this great nation will get the hint that it is time to get off their behind and get a job!

    March 31, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. lynn

    The ladies are so dense not to understand how a government close-down would doom the world's economy for years. It's so easy to spout their radical philosophy, but don't ask them details. Anyone using the term "lace panties" is only playing to the lowest common denominator of degenerates.

    March 31, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Canuck

    But they still want to fund endless, futile wars and give tax cuts to millionaires.... these people are psycho.

    March 31, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. Lynne

    You just know if a Democrat said..."take off your lace panties" Michele Bachmann would be shredding them up one side and down the other, she would be screaming her head off on Fox for as long as they would let her stay on TV. So, why does the Tea Party Activists get to say things like that..to their party or any other? I think it is inappropriate language coming from a woman or a man...there is no need for that kind of derogatory comments.

    March 31, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Oregon Calling

    Seen the needle and the damage done, this could also be used to describe the way that some just want STEEP CUTS no matter what the outcome is for long term growth.

    Pitty :-I

    March 31, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Boy - she's all man - just like Bachman and Pain.

    March 31, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Greg

    Remember, because a woman said it, it's not sexist.... right?

    March 31, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. TonyH

    Shannon Travis' poor grammar has led to today's best Freudian slip in the news – "Fellow Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota took a similar tact as she spoke at the rally". No one ever successfully accuses Bachmann of tact. In fact, she took a similar direction – or TACK. Time to sail into the sunset, Shannon...

    March 31, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Let's start with her health benefits that we TAX PAYERS fund!

    March 31, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, please take a bold stand, so the real Americans can send your ignorant butts home. You already got 700 billion in tax cuts for your rich friends, who will turn around and use it to eliminate more jobs here: is it any wonder your patron saint Sarah went to India to praise them? I can't wait for the elections to come after your soft supporters have melted away like snow in the springtime. I predict over 70 seats will be lost for the GOP if the Teatards get their way. You ask for tax cuts, and yet you refuse to sacrifice to get the country back on a sound financial footing. Its another case of " Everyone but me".

    Can't wait for the beating to begin. Does the GOP have any idea how pathetic and rudderless you look to the average independent? Too bad they did not poll them for this story.

    March 31, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. Former Republican, now an Independent

    These Tea Party fanatics haven't a clue of what should be cut from the budget. They have shown evidence of this by their ignorance of the re-distribution of wealth in this country, and how they have become the puppets of the wealthy minority in the U.S.

    March 31, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  12. Rationalist

    Let's give them their $100 Billion in cuts from the discretionary budget, in fact lets take it out of the part that I would guess most of them don't even know is a part of the discretionary budget, Defense (the single biggest item in the discretionary budget). And then, once that $100 Billion does absolutely nothing, maybe we can start talking about the actual problems with the budget: (these are not exclusive, but they're a good place to start)
    1. Insufficient Tax Revenue
    2. Need for Medicare Reform
    3. Bloated Defense Budget that is more than at least the next 10 military powers combined (included in that is that endless war we are calling Afghanistan, that is quickly becoming Vietnam Part II)

    March 31, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. T'sah from Virginia

    [Tea Party activist to GOP: 'Take off your lace panties,' cut more from the budget]

    Yep, they said that to about 200 people!!!!! That's not enough to take your panties off!!!

    March 31, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. Peter s

    Do they really understand the budget, taxes or how the government works?

    March 31, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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