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. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    The TEA Party is full of people with class. Seems like most of it is LOW, but class none the less.

    March 31, 2011 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Mikey

    "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,"

    Sorry, but no. The "liberals" in the Senate are trying to protect the sick, the weak, the elderly, the poor fron an onslaught. We have major corporations paying ZERO taxes for years. We have had tremendous tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy, who were already paying the lowest rates they've paid since WWII.... and now we're going to try to balance the budget by making cuts that harm the elderly, working single mothers, and children living in poverty?

    Not only that, but they are have expanded their attacks on their fellow Americans to include working middle class families and public servants.

    The Tea Party appears to be a heartless, uncaring, selfish, narrowminded lot. Pretty disgusting.

    March 31, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. GOP = Greed Over People

    "We are listening to the people who sent us here to cut spending so that we can grow our economy"

    Yo' Bawlin' Boehner, how do you think the other folks in Congress got there?

    Yep, they were elected as well and doing what "the people sent them to do".

    You orange glow moron.

    March 31, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Franklin

    "Democrats are rooting for a government shutdown." Are you insane?! With absurd rhetoric like this, it's no wonder we are in the mess we're in.

    March 31, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Debbie from Arizona

    These Tea Party folks make me sick. I am truly glad their support is fading. They act like real brats, either you do it our way or out you go. I wish they would take their Tea Party and their Mad Hatter (Bachmann) back to Wonderland.

    March 31, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  6. Bob

    These clueless slash-and-burn budget cutters don't realize that they are threatening our fragile economic recovery. They will have a lot to answer for when the economy - and employment - tank, again.

    March 31, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  7. dcmisty

    Was I sleeping through the election that put the Tea Party in charge of the country? This is getting old fast. It's time for Congress to man up and do what's right for the WHOLE country, not pacify some fringe element of ultra right wing extremists who'd rather belittle and bully people into their way of thinking. The Constitution guarantees freedom of speech FOR EVERYONE not just the Tea Partiers! Wake up America before it's too late..the Tea Party's line of thinking is way scary!

    March 31, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. Ryan NC

    What is this? A "Squirmish" between GOP and Tea partiers?

    March 31, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  9. rosaadriana

    Do these people have any idea what cutting too much from the budget will do to the economy. Are they not aware of the services they get from their tax dollars. Do they think public employees do not spend money or that their money is worth less than others. I live in a town that has a large public university that gets a large percentage of its funding from the National Institutes of Health. If federal funding was gone from this city who would by the goods and products these people produce. There wouldn't be enough people left in the city to buy enough pizza to keep even one pizza place in town. Seriously these people need to think this all the way through. It won't just be public employees out of work.

    March 31, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  10. Tam

    Between these people and Trump's "thinking" - God help America! The commentators asking for the President's school records, Social Security number, etc. etc. - none of anyone's business! Are YOU going to give out your SSN? Why would I show my transcript to some strangers? For what reason? You're just jealous and mad that a black guy got to where he is now through his own hard work and brains. Pathetic little people.

    March 31, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. Keith in SoJax

    Bachman didn't suggest how she'd cut, did she? If we cut everything but Medicare, Social Security, Defense and Medicaid, the budget still isn't balanced. TP needs to get specific and stop the spin. I'd like to see someone ask Bachman, should we cut the big 4 (above) by 20% and eliminate all other government spending in order to balance this budget. Or "how much are you willing to ask of your constituents...10, 20, 30% of their social security and medicare?". All this campaign trail babble gets real old when those seeking the power roles have no answers to the tough questions.

    March 31, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Steve

    I have never seen so many people ask the government to take so much away from them. Please by all means, take away all the stuff I have paid my hard earned money into.

    Humans in general are stupid sheep.

    March 31, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. JLR

    Boehner wears "lace panties"? There's a visual for you.

    March 31, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. vet in texas

    They won't find the cuts because they understand what they need to cut will cut into their PAC contributions, and the've already guaranteed they won't cut anything because of the tax cuts. Tea Party, you've been played just like all the other "supporters" have been and now your realizing that they used you. The biggest hustler's that you have leading your cause are the ones who won't take the scissors to. Bachmann and Palin have played you like the flute they led you off the cliff with. Enjoy your tea suckers.

    March 31, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Clwyd

    Like I said, "These right wing nut crazies need to tossed out of the republican party before they destroy it. Bachmann is probably the worst uneducated about government rep. I've ever had to listen to! she really belong in an institution for help!

    March 31, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Steve Jackson

    Tea -party should pack there bags and get out of America stop spitting on all the hard work and blood that the working Americas have done for this country the leaders of the tea-party most likely have never had to really work for anything and would they even know what truth is they lie so much say what ever they can to get there way they are only for themselves and ho can pay them the most

    March 31, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Rdepontb

    Boehner is having quite a day, isn't he. News stoking up the Speaker's intra-party opposition forces this morning, Pence contradicting him this afternoon, the Tea Party openly mocking him in public. Ain't so easy, is it? Ever think back on some of those nssty things you said about Speaker Pelosi, sir?

    March 31, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Olaf Big

    Something is wrong with this lady's thinking. Normally if you take your lace panties off it's not to push harder, unless of course, you like to be on top. And if that is the case, you probably won't be thinking about the tax cuts either.

    March 31, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Indy

    Na na nana na na Boehner !!! Now you really have something to cry about ! You are married to the Tea Party and there is no such thing as divorce for this conservative group, they OWN you. How is that selling out thing treating you now !!!

    March 31, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. RRJ

    I thought the Republicans were elected to create jobs but the tea parties want them to lay people off.

    I say if they want cuts, specify exactly what they want to cut.
    Defense? I guess we could end the Afghan war.
    Social Security? Is the tea party suggesting we throw old folks out in the street?
    Aid for the poor? The old folks and the poor can set up big camps together like in the depression – Hoovervilles I think they called them.
    Medicare? Then we won't need so much Social Security because the old folks will die sooner.

    The tea party are mostly well off personally and out of touch with the reality of the working poor and people that have lost their jobs and homes. Any success they have will be their undoing and the backlash will be their end. Radicals on either side are bad for the US and if left up to the tea party we would be in a very deep depression for the next 10 years.

    March 31, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Mark

    Good idea. Look. Our country is in trouble. Its past time to hold people accountable for their actions. That goes from corporate to individual. We have corporations raking in billions, and people buying cigarettes and beer with food stamps. We are too dependent on outside sources, and we have a immigration problem. Cut, Cut, Cut!! We are Americans, we can take it, and take pride in it. Stop the handouts and people will realize that they need to take care of themselves. I for one, do not want society to take car of me. I have pride in my ability to fend for myself. People, corporations, and above all, The United States Government should feel the same. Im tired of our handout/entitlement society. Be an American. Grow a pair and do what needs to be done.

    March 31, 2011 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Shannon

    She must have been so excited to deliver her lame line. What a bunch of lunatics.

    March 31, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. schuylermac

    Only200 tea partiers showed up rip tea party

    March 31, 2011 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. John

    That headline under a picture of Michelle Bachman is a very unfortunate juxtaposition.

    March 31, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  25. Russ

    Unfortunately we have enough idiots already in congress, we don't need this bunch of moron idiots trying to tell congress what to do. They have no clue and need to go back to the harbor and dive for tea.

    March 31, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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