Iowa tea party group reverses itself again, reinstates O'Donnell as speaker
August 30th, 2011
10:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Iowa tea party group reverses itself again, reinstates O'Donnell as speaker

Washington (CNN) – Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell will speak at a tea party rally Saturday in Iowa after organizers Tuesday night reversed themselves again and re-invited her, CNN has learned.

Earlier Tuesday, citing internal miscommunication problems, organizers rescinded an invitation to her, saying they realized they did not have enough space in the program for her.

Ken Crow, founder of the Tea Party of America, said the group re-thought its decision because it was not right to cancel after offering her a role. Besides the communication issues, Crow told CNN another factor that led to the cancellation was some negative reaction to O'Donnell being invited to participate.

"We received some nasty e-mails," Crow told CNN. "We didn't do the right thing."

He said after some consideration organizers changed their minds.

"What we've done is to make room for her," Crow said. "It wasn't fair what we did."

O'Donnell received a call Tuesday evening inviting her to speak.

"In ‘Troublemaker’ I talk about 'rising above it,' and have humbly re-accepted the re-invitation to speak in Iowa," O'Donnell said in a statement.

She will speak prior to Sarah Palin, who will deliver the keynote address for the rally.

Crow said he did not hear from Palin or her representatives regarding whether O'Donnell would appear at the event.

Earlier Tuesday, Crow said initially he was "under the assumption we had an open slot" after her supporters had inquired Monday about whether she could speak and he thought there was space for her.

O'Donnell, who is on a national speaking tour for her book, was informed Monday she could speak but was disinvited Tuesday.

Palin's address at the event is drawing interest from around the nation, according to Charlie Gruschow, co-founder of the group, and will probably increase that much more with word of her attending a Tea Party Express event in New Hampshire two days after the Iowa speech.

Organizers of the Iowa rally have said they don't have details on what Palin will discuss at the event.

"She will make a major statement at the event," Gruschow told CNN last week. "Whether it be an announcement to run, not to run or lay a marker in the sand for other candidates."

The rally is meant to help promote the tea party values of limited government, the importance of the Constitution and fiscal responsibility, event organizers have said.

Filed under: Christine O'Donnell • Iowa • Sarah Palin
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    She's on...she's off...she's on...she's off. Sounds like she has found her true calling.

    August 31, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  2. Sadie Boyd

    We need her to speak...wonderful fodder for our comedians...

    August 31, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  3. right leaning independent

    This woman is not qualified to run for national public office. She should not be representing the Tea Party if the intent is to convince independents that the Tea Party is anything but a fad.

    August 31, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  4. krehator

    What an embarrassment. This is the tea party? Looks like more typical Washington to me.

    Oh wait. I better be careful before she accuses me of se xual harassment.

    August 31, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. Tex71

    Any organization stupid enough to hire this airhead as a speaker deserves being linked on national TV to the gaffes and embarrassing blurted idiocy that are sure to follow.

    August 31, 2011 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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