Tea Party Patriots' Continuing Revolution Rally   ...1 of 4 >
March 31, 2011--As Congress, having not passed a budget last year, works on another continuing resolution, several hundred Tea Party activists gathered at the Robert A. Taft Memorial and Carillon across from the Capitol for a "Continuing Revolution" Rally.  It was a dreary, drizzly day, but a succession of top conservative leaders kept the crowd fired up. Tea Party Patriots are pressing for $100 billion in spending cuts and a cut off all funds for implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin emphasized that the $100 billion in spending cuts amounts to just 2.6 cents out of every dollar (remarks). 

(Top) Institute for Liberty president Andrew Langer points to a small blacked out section of a stadium chart to illustrate the size of the cuts activists are advocating.  (Below) Speakers included Reps. Steve King (IA), Mike Pence (IN) and Michele Bachmann(MN), Sens. Jim DeMint (SC) and Rand Paul (KY) and Rep. Alan West (FL).
Two of the speakers at the rally are seen as possible presidential hopefuls.  Rep. Bachmann appears likely to establish a presidential exploratory committee, and the current conventional wisdom if Rep. Ron Paul (TX) doesn't run Sen. Paul will.  Rep. Pence was seen as a possible candidate but ruled out a presidential bid on January 27.  Sen. DeMint is subject of a draft effort but has shown no interest in running. 

Another presidential prospect, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, was on Capitol Hill today as well; he addressed freshmen Republican House members and the Congressional Healthcare Caucus Policy Forum.

Looking ahead to the Republican presidential primaries, Tea Party activists form a key constituency.  Tea Party Patriots held an American Policy Summit in Phoenix a month ago, on February 25-27; Herman Cain, Rep. Ron Paul and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty addressed that gathering.