The Tea Party certainly isn’t dead, as The New York Times recently suggested.
That was the message Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivered Thursday to a crowd of Tea Party activists assembled in Washington to celebrate five years of the conservative government movement.
The Senator was joined by Republican lawmakers, including Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, in remembering the many accomplishments of the movement in the years since Rick Santelli’s rant on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2009.
“If you listen to the media, if you listen to Democrats — although I repeat myself — they will say the fight to stop Obamacare did not succeed,” said Cruz
“Really?” Cruz said. “Well, I’m a big believer the proof is in the pudding. Last fall, millions of Americans rose up and said, ‘Stop the disaster that is Obamacare.’ … We elevated the national debate of the incredible harms Obamacare is visiting on millions of Americans.”
Cruz went on to emphasize the populist support, which was largely a surprise to the political establishment, of Paul’s epic 13 hour rant against President Barack Obama’s murderous drone policy.
When Paul had his turn at the mic, he emphasized the broad appeal of the Tea Party’s fiscal conservatism and small government ideals and encouraged the establishment GOP to embrace unconventional Republicans.
“When we present our message, and we want a bigger crowd and we want to win politically, the message has to be a happy message,” he said. “One of optimism, one of inclusiveness, one of growth, a message that actually brings up the people who are poor among us, brings up those who are long-term unemployed and find them some jobs.”
“Our message is that, but we have to figure out a way to make sure that everybody knows that that’s what we’re here for,” Paul said.