On Saturday, Amy Kremer, Chairman of Tea Party Express, was on Fox News and said, “Whoever the Republican nominee is will have to have the support of the Tea Party movement, the entire Tea Party movement.”
As you might guess, that statement has not gone over well. But there is more to this story.
As I mentioned in a blog yesterday, I’ve known Amy since we were both involved in organizing the original Tea Parties in February 2009. I was surprised by her statement and wanted to talk to her about it.
She was flying out of DC as I was flying in so I did not have a chance to talk to her but she did send me and several other friends and Tea Party leaders an email about this.
Here is the email:
I am sorry for the confusion over my comments, which have been now taken totally out of context.
Last election cycle, Tea Party Express took on the establishment and worked hard to send true conservatives to Washington.
We challenged the Republican Party time and time again because we stood on principles and did not waiver.
We were not willing to accept any RINO or Obama-lite. We were no longer going to accept what the Republican Party was trying to shove down our throats, even supporting Doug Hoffman in the New York special against the liberal Republican. That will not change.
No tea party group has taken on the Republican establishment more than we have, and that will not change.
We are totally committed to tea party principles of smaller government, less taxes, an end to deficit spending and free markets.
My point was in the interview that the “cream will rise to the top,” meaning that a true conservative will gain our support and we will work to defeat Obama.
I believe in this movement and the people of this movement. I feel sure that once again, the tea party movement will work hard to send true conservatives to Washington, just like we did in 2010.
I don’t believe a Republican can win without the strong support for the tea party movement. So when I say that we will support the nominee, I mean that we will support the nominee because he or she has won tea party support. I didn’t mean we will accept whatever is thrown our way.
In 2012, we have to defeat Barack Obama. This country will not survive another four years of his big government, socialist policies.
Look at what has happened in only 2.5 years when Obama knows he has a reelection in 2012.
Can you imagine another 4 years of him when there will be no reelection and has nothing to lose? He is the worst President that this country has ever had. We must remove him from the White House in 2012.
We are now stuck with Kagan and Sotomayer. If Obama wins and appoints more justices, we will have no chance of turning back the march to socialism.
By the time that we have a nominee, I think the movement will have already spoken loud and clear and the nominee will have received the nomination with the support of the movement.
If the nominee does not have the support of the movement, they cannot win the election. I have said that for months and months now and I firmly believe that.
Last election cycle, TPX was kicked and abused because we got involved in the primaries. We were told we needed to stay out of the primaries because it was the politically incorrect thing to do.
We jumped in anyway and will be doing the same after the debate in September. We will be supporting the best constitutional conservative in the field.
The bottom line is this…you need to fight like a dog now in order to impact who the Republican nominee will be.
The Tea Party Express national bus tour starts on August 20th and we have invited the candidates for president to give us their best shot on how to restore America to strength and prosperity. It culminates in the Tea Party presidential debate on September 12th in Tampa, Florida.
I believe this process will start to unify the tea party around the strongest conservative candidates.
Also, for those that are busy attacking me, I hope you are already volunteering for your candidate that you want to support. If not, you are part of the problem.
What have you done for your conservative candidate today?
Before Amy is condemned, you should know a little bit about what goes on when someone appears on one of these shows. When you are booked, a producer calls you in advance and asks you questions.
They may tell you in general terms what they are going to talk about but you do not know what the questions are. I’ve been on Fox, MSNBC, Fox Business, CNN and others.
For some of those shows, I’ve literally gotten to the studio not knowing what we were going to talk about.
Once you are in there, the host fires questions at you. You have a split second to formulate an answer and fire it back, knowing that hundreds of thousands, if not millions are watching and your video clip will be on the internet. I’ve misspoken before on TV.
Everyone who has been subjected to media questioning has. Ask Sarah Palin, who has her misspoken words ridiculed and dissected with intense scrutiny.
The important message to take away from this is for the GOP to nominate a good candidate. If the GOP gives us a RINO, the GOP may be in for a rude surprise.
The GOP does not have a blank check to just throw any one up against Obama.
The Tea Party has not written you a blank check.
No one has.