Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. On Monday night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.
Kansas City, MO – Last week, NAACP delegates debated and voted on a resolution calling the Tea Party movement to repudiate "racist elements." But convention attendees seemed to disagree on whether the issue should be the Tea Party's central agenda, or just fringe members.
KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross brings you voices from the convention, including NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous and Reverend Al Sharpton. She also speaks to Brendan Steinhauser, of Freedomworks, a group that helps organizes local Tea Party groups.
Kansas City, MO – At the NAACP convention yesterday, Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson tried to shift the conversation away from alleged racism in the Tea Party movement.
Tuesday's vote to condemn the so-called "racist elements" of the Tea Party movement elicited a firestorm of criticism from Tea Party supporters. They denied the charge and said the NAACP's resolution is racially divisive. At a press conference yesterday, Reverend Al Sharpton said the problem isn't racist individuals or signs at rallies.
Kansas City, MO – NAACP delegates voted yesterday to repudiate racism in the Tea Party movement. The organization's national convention is in Kansas City this week.
The resolution says that tea party members have engaged in explicitly racist behavior during protests and rallies - using offensive language and threatening public officials, particularly African Americans. NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous said Tea Party leaders need to take a stand.
Kansas City , Mo. – Kansas City will join the rest of the country this Tax Day by observing the one year anniversary of the first major Tea Party protests. Rallies are planned at the Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas, the J.C. Nichols Fountain on the Plaza, and Johnson County Community College, among other places.
Tea Party activists here are in step with their colleagues nationwide in another way - many are running for office. At the same time, the major Republican candidates are courting the Tea Party vote.
Kansas City , Mo. – Facilities at Community America Ballpark in Wyandotte County -- bathrooms and security, made it the desirable location for this afternoon's Tea Party rally, according to organizers with Political Chips, one of the largest Tea Party groups in Kansas. There will be a number of gatherings around the metro, but the T-Bones ballpark is expected to host the largest.
Social media has been key in creating the Tea Party phenomenon, so it's fitting that this event was pulled together largely on line.
Kansas City – While many Tea Party activists went to protest the health care debate in Washington this week, activists in this area are shifting directions. They're moving away from protests and rallies in favor of election campaigns.
The Kansas City Tea Party provides a picture of what some Tea Party activism may look like as the campaign season unfolds.
At the center of the local effort is a 21 year old college student named Andrea Plunkett.
St. Joseph , Mo. – With this weeks national convention in Nashville and some major electoral successes, the The Tea Party has moved away from the political margin. Locally, Tea Party activists have also been organizing over the last several months. They're turning their attention to candidates and campaigns - and away from protests and rallies.