Tea party speakers seized the opportunity to cheer Stupak’s retirement announcement and put their spin on it. “Bart Stupak’s demise has become a media touchdown” claimed tea party chairman and talk radio host Mark Williams as he gave credit to the tea party and those in attendance for driving Stupak from office. Williams also took the opportunity to call for the ousting of long time Michigan senator Carl Levin. Grassroots in Michigan’s Joan Fabiano urged attendees to become more involved in politics at the local level.
Tea Party Chairman Mark Willaims speaks to the crowd at the
Tea Party Express III's whistlestop in Petoskey, Michigan.
Describing Stupak as “arrogant” after his televised comments about making the Tea Party spend money needlessly on ads encouraging voters not to re-elect him Williams did thank the retiring senator for the timing of his announcement eluding that it saved his organization $200,000 since they will no longer have to run the ads.
An anti war activist carries a sign through the crowd at the Tea Party
Express III's whistlestop in Petoskey, Michigan.
While a lot of national media seems to like to paint tea party members as religious fanatics and conservative radicals that was not the crowd that showed up at this mornings event. Lawyers and local business owners stood shoulder to shoulder with working class citizens to listen to Tea Party speakers and political candidates. Anti war activists mingled in the crowd and chatted with each other without problems and other than an occasional drive through local law enforcement was for the most part unseen.
The Tea Party Express III will visit Traverse City, Big Rapids, Grand Rapids and Lansing today before wrapping up their Michigan events in Detroit Sunday morning.