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Entries in tea partiers (3)

Wednesday
Aug032011

White House Calls Use of the Word 'Terrorists' to Describe Tea Partyers 'the Product of An Emotional Discussion'

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Given the presence of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., at Congress Monday Night -- and President Obama’s January 12 speech to the nation about the need for “more civility in our public discourse” -- the White House has faced questions about Vice President Biden’s possible behind-closed-doors use of the word “terrorists” to describe Tea Partyers.

It was reported Tuesday that at a meeting with anxious House Democrats Monday, the Vice President heard from Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., who said “the Tea Party acted like terrorists in threatening to blow up the economy.”

Doyle used the term several times. Several sources told Politico that the Vice President responded by saying, “they have acted like terrorists.”

Other sources told ABC News that the vice president said something along the lines of “if they have acted like terrorists, we’re taking the nuclear weapon away from them.”

The verbal gaffe-prone Vice President told CBS News’ Scott Pelley, "I did not use the terrorism word...What happened was there were some people who said they felt like they were being held hostage by terrorists. I never said that they were terrorists or weren't terrorists, I just let them vent. I said, ‘Even if that were the case, what's been happening when you now have taken and paid the debt and move that down so we can now discuss, the nuclear weapon's been taken out of anyone's hands.’"

One reporter Tuesday asked White House press secretary Jay Carney about reports that the Vice President had used the term, wondering if “the president thinks that's appropriate discourse?”

“No, he doesn't, and neither does the vice president,” Carney said. “And I think the vice president spoke to this and made clear that he didn't say those words, and I think the congressman in question has said that he regrets using them.”

Carney said the use of the word “was a product of an emotional discussion, very passionately held positions in this debate, but that does not mean that it's appropriate.  And it's not.  The vice president doesn't think so; the president doesn't think so.  Any kind of comments like that are simply not conducive to the kind of political discourse that we hope to have.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug022011

Palin, GOP Respond to Alleged Biden 'Terrorists' Comment

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin is the latest to add her voice to the chorus of politicians and pundits criticizing Vice President Joe Biden for allegedly saying that tea party lawmakers "acted like terrorists" during the debt-ceiling negotiations.

At a meeting with House Democrats on Monday Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) reportedly told Biden that "the tea party acted like terrorists in threatening to blow up the economy." The phrase was allegedly used several times. Several sources told the website Politico that the Vice President responded "they have acted like terrorists."

Appearing on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show Monday, Palin said, "I think we're getting kind of used to being called names -- racists, inciters of violence, being accused of things that we having nothing to do with." Palin added, "I suppose it's a bit more appalling to have been called acting like terrorists by he who is second in command of the most powerful office in the world. It's quite appalling. It proves how out of touch this White House is."

The former Alaska governor and tea party activist added: "To be called a terrorist because of our beliefs from the vice president, it's quite appalling, it's quite vile."

Whether Vice President Biden did in fact use the word terrorist is unclear.  He denied using it Monday while speaking to CBS News' Scott Pelley.

Kendra Barkoff, a spokeswoman for the Vice President, said "the word was used by several members of Congress. The vice president does not believe it's an appropriate term in political discourse."

Along with Palin, several other members of the GOP have responded to the reported comments. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC), on the Senate floor Monday evening called it "deeply disturbing" to hear the reports of the comments.

And Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted the Vice President: "Laughable to be called 'terrorist' by those holding economy hostage. Prefer to be thought of as freedom fighter. #teaparty."

Earlier this year, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told Bloomberg Television that "the people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists. Really -- they're really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are loony, who would put our credit at risk."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Retiring Members Dish on the Congress They Leave Behind

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- In an exclusive ABC News interview, four retiring representatives sat down with senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl for a candid look at their time in the U.S. Congress.

Although the panel represented a wide range of political views and years on Capitol Hill, the two Democrats and two Republicans, all defeated in their bids for re-election last November, found common ground.

All were disappointed, for example, by the vitriolic partisanship, which created what one member called "the most dysfunctional Congress'' in his entire life. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., who lost his gubernatorial primary bid, had some strong last words about the state of Congress as he sees it.

"Congress is more dysfunctional today than when I got here 16 years ago, and probably more dysfunctional than at any time in the 53 years I've been alive," Wamp told Karl. "We're not passing budgets. We're not moving appropriations bills. We're not blocking and tackling, because the division is so great."

Wamp said his greatest overall disappointment had been watching the erosion of the unity formed in the aftermath of 9/11.

Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, who lost to Republican Bill Flores, echoed Wamp's worry over the increasing divide among Republicans and Democrats.

"I think that there's more partisanship today than I've seen in the 20 years I've been in Congress," Edwards said. "I think the partisanship might get uglier before the American people finally blame one party or the other, and express their views at the ballot box."

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., who was defeated by Republican Frank Guinta, joked that even her social worker background couldn't prepare her for the challenges and personalities she faced during her time on the Hill.

"I thought, well, I have pretty good people skills," she said. "Well, it's run up against a wall, a wall of people refusing to even sit down and start to talk about an issue."

Another commonality that emerged among the retiring members centered on the influx of Tea Partiers in the 112th Congress. All retiring members expressed reservations about the new Congress members' ability to work together, fearing the surge of conservative, hard-line candidates would will further divide an already deeply partisan legislature.

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