By LINDSAY OLIVIER
NORTH KINGSTOWN – Close to 200 hundred people braved the raw and rainy weather conditions to turn out for a stop on the Tea Party Express “Reclaiming America” tour that made a pit stop at Wilson Park, North Kingstown Wednesday morning.
This is the fifth tour for the Express which began on Aug. 27 in Napa, Cali. and will end on Sept. 12 in Tampa, Fla., in time for the first ever CNN/Tea Party Express debate. In the end, the tour will have visited 29 cities and pushed the party’s message of fiscal responsibility, limited government and free markets across the country.
The stop in town couldn’t have been done without the persistence of Rep. Doreen Costa. Having been to a few of the Express’s rallies in New Hampshire and Washington D.C., Costa contacted party representatives multiple times in order to encourage them to make a stop in North Kingstown.
“Not only is this a great opportunity for residents to come out and learn what the Tea Party is all about,” she said. “But, after this event is done, those locals will be going to local coffee shops. This is great for local businesses.”
Under a sea of umbrellas were NK residents adorning the American flag in some sort of fashion, whether it was with jackets, hats, folding chairs or signs.
Conservative resident Jean Burgess showed up to show her support for the Tea Party and to speak out against the current political system in Washington.
“I like what the Tea Party stands for. I’m for small government and we need to get rid of all the czars and Obamas out of Washington.”
Various kiosks lined Wilson Park offering materials from anti Barack Obama clothing to political character cards.
Tea Party Express Co-Founder Howard Kaloogian yelled to the crowd that Washington can’t spend their way out of a deficit and it’s the private sectors that create jobs, not the government.
“Obama spins everything and says it’s all Bush’s and other people’s faults. Well, I pray for the next president who’s going to have inherited Obama’s problems.”
Kaloogian described Obama’s administration as one “giant economic disaster”.
“Obama is going to be a one-term president and will be replaced by a Tea Party Conservative,” said Kaloogian to a roar from a crowd.
No stranger to media outlets, and someone who was just recently seen on Fox News, Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer was on hand to keep the rally going.
“I’m no one special,” she said to the crowd. “I’m a former flight attendant and mom and I was getting sick of yelling at the TV so three years ago, I got off the couch and did something about it.”
The Tea Party uses the United States Constitution as the foundation for many of its political stances and argues that the current government is taking away what the Founding Fathers worked hard for.
“I say bring it on,” Kremer said about looming election battles. “The constitution is our armor and we are armed.”
The rally ended with a speech from Republican Tea Party member Sharron Angle, who served on the Nevada Assembly from 1999 to 2007 and lost in a campaign to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last year. She said the Tea Party isn’t an organization but an organism that’s following principles.
When her son was young, Angle explained, she wanted to home school him, but according to Nevada state law, the only time when home-schooling was allowed was when the child lived more than 50 miles from a school.
“That’s when the government was getting involved in my family business,” she said. “I decided I wasn’t going to tolerate it and here I am travelling around the country urging you to do what’s right.”
Angle urged crowd members to serve all they can in their local government and to re evaluate who they vote in for the next president.
For more information on the Tea Party Express Tour, visit www.teapartyexpress.org .