Friday, May 1, 2009

National Tea Party Leaders Call on Obama to Live up to Meeting Promise

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Eighteen national leaders of the Tea Party protest movement, which has drawn the participation of hundreds of thousands of Americans over the past few weeks, today responded to President Barack Obama's invitation to meet with members of the Tea Party movement to discuss solutions to the nation's fiscal challenges.

Speaking at a townhall meeting in Arnold, Missouri this past Wednesday, Obama said: "So, you know, when you see -- those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I'm not very popular and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we're going to stabilize Social Security."

The national leadership team of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition, one of several organizations that form the grassroots ecosystem of the Tea Party movement, this afternoon faxed a letter to the White House accepting the President's invitation for such a discussion. "The Tea Party movement has grown because millions of Americans believe the government is heading in the wrong direction and their government is not only not listening to them, but ignoring them. We need to have a serious, public discussion of these issues. We are ready to have that discussion with you and look forward to your response," the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition leaders wrote in their letter to Obama.

"We have noticed there often appears to be a great divide between President Obama's political rhetoric and the political reality of his policies and actions," said Michael Johns, one of the eighteen signators of the letter. "When the President says he is 'happy to have a serious conversation' with us about the fiscal state of this nation, we think the next question is when and where, and we hope to have an answer to that promptly so we can present concrete, workable policy ideas," he said.

Nationwide Tea Party Coalition leader and letter signator Dana Loesch, who led a protest of hundreds during Obama's Missouri visit this past Wednesday, said: "We didn't stand out in the street by the hundreds at the townhall meeting simply to create sound bites and stock footage for the news circuit any more than the Sons of Liberty dumped tea into Boston Harbor to become an entry in history books." "We stood because we want to propose an alternative, and dare I say better, suggestion as to how fiscal matters should be handled. We welcome an open discussion," she said.

The national leadership team of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition includes 26 of the more than 900 organizers of the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Parties held nationally and attended by an estimated one million Americans. The Coalition's web site, where today's letter to the president can be seen, is:

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