Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, told the hosts of Fox & Friends Monday that they “deserve credit” for the success of the tea party movement, and that the movement could well dissipate if the economy improves.
“You guys deserve more credit for marshaling that anger than the tea partiers,” Rendell told hosts Gretchen Carlson, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, adding that he was “being serious” in making the claim and that “it’s your right to do so.”
In a long monologue during which the news hosts sometimes had trouble getting a word in edgewise, Rendell said that the tea party movement paled in size when compared to the anti-war movement during the Bush era, and that the tea parties “have been successful because the mainstream media, the media all over the country, has given them too much credit. I think they’re sort of following the anger, rather than creating the movement.”
Rendell said: “The anger is palpable and it is real. And is there a movement– does that anger get acted upon by people? Sure it does. Anytime you’ve got people who lost their jobs, lost their 401k, lost their houses, people are going to be angry. But I don’t think it’s all directed at government spending or wasteful government. I think that’s part of it, but I think there’s a lot of anger just because we have a bad economy. If the economy continues to improve like it’s clearly doing, I think you’ll see a lot of that anger dissipate, even before the November election.”
Rendell cited recent news that new home sales jumped 27 percent in March as a sign that the economy is improving.
The two-term governor also highlighted that tea party demonstrations have been considerably smaller than the anti-war protests of the past decade.
“When we had the demonstrations against the war, hundreds of thousands of people made it to Washington. A quarter of a million people, not a thousand people. There’s a huge difference, guys.”
Doocy argued that the comparison wasn’t fair because tea party protests were spread out all over the country, not concentrated in one place.
Said Rendell: “The tea party movement deserves some real credit, because without much of an infrastructure, without much of a following — and a thousand people isn’t much of a following — they’ve captured the imagination of the media, because of their passion, because of their anger.”
This video is from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast April 26, 2010.