Rendell: Media blow Tea Parties out of proportion
Tea Parties dominated the news on tax day but Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says the protest movement is given too much credit by the media.
“[W]hat’s the Tea Party itself? If you say it’s the anger that people feel about the economy, et cetera, that’s giving the Tea Party too much credit,” Rendell told NBC’s David Gregory Sunday.
“We had two recent Tea Party demonstrations in Washington. One a week before the health care vote, drew about 1,000 people. The tax day rally by the organizers’ own estimate was 1,500 people,” explained the governor.
“If I organized a rally for stronger laws to protect puppies, I would get 100,000 people to Washington. So, I think the media has blown the Tea Party themselves out of proportion,” said Rendell.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) chimed in to speak for Tea Party activists.
“What they want is leaders who are going to say, you may not agree with, we’re going to tell you the truth. We’re going to tell you where we stand. We’re going to stop spending taxpayer dollars on programs you don’t want,” she insisted.
Raw Story’s Sahil Kapur reported Wednesday that as Michele Bachmann riled a group of feisty Tea Partiers to rail against taxes and government spending last November, taxpayers were quietly forced to pick up a $13,600 tab for their festivities.
Asked if Rep. Bachmann’s use of the term “gangster government” to refer to the Obama administration at a more recent rally was over the line, Blackburn eventually conceded to Gregory that she would not use that language herself.
Although typically controversial signs (like “We vote with bullets”) were seen at tax day protests, the press has not reported any new violent outcomes.
This video is from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast April 18, 2010.