GOP hopes to build momentum behind "tea parties"Submitted by hattrick on Thu, 04/16/2009 - 06:50
Look who's tentacles are showing...
GOP hopes to build momentum behind 'tea parties'
Writer Shannon Mccaffrey, Associated Press Writer – 38 mins ago
ATLANTA – Republicans have lost their grip on Congress and the White House, but they claim to have American anger over taxes and the economy on their side as tens of thousands turned out for anti-tax "tea parties" around the country.
Wednesday's rallies used the dreaded April 15 — the U.S. deadline to file income taxes — as a hook to vent about government spending and corporate bailouts in an homage to the Boston Tea Party.
The tea parties were promoted by FreedomWorks, a conservative nonprofit advocacy group based in Washington and led by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, who is now a lobbyist.
Organizers said the movement developed organically through online social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and through exposure on Fox News and promotion from conservative pundits and bloggers.
While FreedomWorks insisted the rallies were nonpartisan, they have been seized on by many prominent Republicans who view them as a promising way for the party to reclaim its momentum against President Barack Obama's administration and other Democrats.
"All you have to be is a mildly awake Republican candidate for office to get in front of that parade," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Some Republicans considering 2012 presidential bids and others with upcoming campaigns for state and congressional offices hitched a ride with the movement.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took the podium in front of New York's City Hall while the crowd of about 2,000 chanted, "We are America!"
He urged people to tell their lawmakers to vote against big spending or else "we're going to fire you."
As the former House speaker left after his 11-minute speech, passers-by yelled, "2012, Newt!" and "Run for president!" But when asked about a run, Gingrich shook his head emphatically and said, "I'm just part of a citizen movement."
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