On Tuesday from 10 AM EDT to 5 PM EDT, Breitbart News will provide exclusive programming from the “Exempt America” rally on Capitol Hill for defunding Obamacare (see below for updates).
Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon will co-host the broadcast with Breitbart News Managing Editor Alex Marlow and Breitbart’s Sonnie Johnson. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) will headline the event (story continues after the updates).
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, who has spearheaded efforts at the grassroots level with ForAmerica’s Brent Bozell, had some strong words on Tuesday for those in Congress who have acted like they are “above the law” in exempting themselves from Obamacare while making Americans live under the law that is not good enough for them.
“If Obamacare is not ready for Big Business, Big Labor, or Big Government, it’s not ready for the American people,” she said. “It is time for President Obama, Congress do the fair thing and exempt America from Obamacare. The only way to do this is to stop spending our hard-earned tax money on Obamacare, which can be done while still funding the rest of the entire government in the fiscal year 2014.
Martin said, “The American people have not been offered such a delay or waiver. We’re stuck with the individual mandate for a bureaucratic law that the White House admits is simply not ready while our government picks and chooses which parts of Obamacare to ignore and which groups get exemptions.”
“The heads of three of the biggest labor unions in the country told the President that Obamacare is going to shatter their health care and bring an end to the 40-hour workweek,” she said, noting that 40,000 International Longshore and Warehouse Union members quit the AFL-CIO last week “in part because of President Obama’s broken promise that he would not tax on union member benefits.”
She said the actions of those in Congress who think they are “above the very law” they are “willing to spending our tax dollars to fund” are “cowardly and contemptible.”
“Congress has a choice to make: stand up for the American People and do what is right for all Americans by funding the entire government and stop spending our hard earned tax money on Obamacare or stand with the special interests in DC: Big Business, Big Labor, and Big Government while sticking this disastrous law on the American People,” Martin said. “With the problems, delays, and exemptions in this law, the choice should be simple: stand with Americans and Exempt America.”
Martin urged attendees to continue the fight for freedom.
“We are a country where all men are created equal,” Martin said. “We expect our Congressmen and their staff to remember that when they vote. No more tricks. No more lies. No more games. Get it right. Get it right for the American people.”
*** Breitbart News’s programming can be seen here. ***
UPDATE (2:20 PM)
**Martin said on October 12, the Tea Party Patriots will be doing an event in Richmond, VA with Mark Levin.**
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a conservative stalwart, urged attendees to keep fighting to defund Obamacare so Americans are not burdened by the intrusive law.
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) said everyone knew Obamacare would cause all of the problems it is causing and President Barack Obama has finally realized this and is “beginning to exempt his friends” from Obamacare in addition to people in government. Garrett noted Obamacare is exempting big business from the employer mandate, Garrett said Obamacare needed to be defunded, delayed, and exempted for all Americans.
UPDATE (2:05 PM)
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) — Gingrey said he would vote against any bill that funds Obamacare and has introduced legislation to deny Members of Congress and their staffs special carve outs.
UPDATE (1:55 PM)
Dan Holler, of Heritage Action, said that Americans who have had their hours cut due to Obamacare owe attendees a debt of gratitude. He said the House Republican leadership is their because of you but they are going to ignore you. “They are not going to defund Obamacare. They are using a gimmick. They are patting you all on the head. They are saying, “thanks for everything you did, but let the adults handle this.”
He said the adults, though, are not in Congress but are really “out here.”
“No more gimmicks. No more games,” Holler said. “No more waiting. We are tired of waiting. No more Lucy and the football.”
UPDATE (1:50 PM)
Herman Cain, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said he wanted to share two thoughts with attendees: 1) America is divided not between the haves and the have-nots but between the political class and the working class, and “we be the working class.” “You see, the working class believes in the old Army motto, “Be all you can be.” The political class believes in a different motto: “be all that they want you to be.” 2) The second message, Cain said, was to the political class–he said they are not in charge of this country because “we the people” are still “in charge of this country.”
Cain said a reporter asked him whether the Tea Party has died, and Cain said anybody who says that the Tea Party is dead is lying.
“The new revolution in America is about brains and ballots,” Cain said, noting that “We the people” have the brains to use the ballot to “take our nation back.”
Matt Kibbe, of Freedomworks, said conservatives have a seat at the table now, naming Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Mark Meadows.
He said it matters because, “You did that. We’ve come a long way in four years. I’m wildly optimistic we are going to get this job done. It’s not the insiders versus the rest of us. It’s not Republicans versus Democrats. It’s Washington, D.C. versus America.”
“We’re going to stop Obamacare,” he said. “We’re going to stop this war in Syria. We’re going to stop this $17 trillion in debt.”
UPDATE (1:30 PM)
Citizens United’s David Bossie urged Americans to call, e-mail, and tweet lawmakers to have them act now on Obamacare.
“If they don’t, I’m sure we will have new leadership after the 2014 elections,” he said.
He said the American people are demanding action and “not just another” meaningless vote.
“There is only one way to stop Obamacare, and that is to defund it now,” Bossie said. “Are you listening Speaker Boehner? Are you listening Eric Cantor?”
He said if Republicans House leaders do not show leadership and act, then, “Your days with the gavel are numbered”
Rush Limbaugh’s producer James Golden (“Snerdley”) also electrified the audience.
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) referenced the Alamo and said Texas had a proud tradition of fighting for liberty. He listed off some of the evils of Obamacare–like funding abortions and healthcare for illegal immigrants–and said Rep. Joe Wilson was right when he said to Obama, “You lie.”
Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) simply said, “kill the rule. defund Obamacare.”
UPDATE: (12:55 PM)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX):
“Obamacare is a disaster.”
“This thing ain’t working.”
“Obamacare is the number one job-killer.”
“President Obama is busy giving exemptions to all the favored groups in Washington,” Cruz said, noting members of Congress, big business and unions have lobbied for exemptions.
“How about an exemption for hard-working families?” Cruz said.
Cruz said the defunding Obamacare effort will not be won if played by the traditional rules in Washington in smoked-filled rooms. He said, though, that there is a new paradigm in play, and that is the rise of the grassroots that are becoming more powerful. He blasted House Republicans who want to use procedural tricks they know Senate Majority Leader (D-NV) Harry Reid will later strip out to claim that they tried to defund Obamacare.
He said the one great thing about America is that sovereignty is not vested in Washington–it resides in “We the people.” Cruz urged Americans to go to defundit.com and demand leaders defund Obamacare and hold every elected official, including himself, accountable.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): We Can’t Be ‘invertebrate caucus’
Speaking at the Exempt America rally, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in England there are a million people waiting in line for medical treatments at any point in time
He asked, “Do you want a half of Obamacare? How about a quarter of it? How about we defund the whole damn thing”
He said Obama claimed people could keep their doctor and insurance would not cost any more than it did. Paul said people won’t keep their doctors and it will cost two times or three times as much.
Paul said he gets complaints that businesses will be overwhelmed with bills and the poor will have no insurance in addition to no jobs.
Paul added, “We don’t need to be the invertebrate caucus.” He said conservatives needed to be the caucus with the spine, with the heart, and with the will to defund Obamacare.
Paul said we may not win the ultimate battle but that we will not know unless we begin to fight the battle.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said, “We’ve been told Obamacare just needs a little tweaking.
Meadows powerfully spoke about how the country had traditions that were proud and worth fighting for. He said when an app is broken on an iphone, it may be a sign that the whole device is broken, and extended the analogy to Obamacare.
ForAmerica chairman Brent Bozell fired up the crowd by saying anyone who falls for the gimmicks being put forth by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner should be “ashamed.” He said he has had it with “being slapped in the face by people taking you for granted.” He urged the crowd to pressure lawmakers to “defund Obamacare” and “defund those people in Congress who gave themselves an exemption but won’t give it to you.”
UPDATE: (12:23 PM): Tanya Robertson from Texas said she was a mother who was asking for the same exemptions from Obamacare that big business and special interests have received.
UPDATE: (12:20 PM): Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) to Obama: “Why are you not signing up for it?
UPDATE (12:15 PM): Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice simply said all Americans should be exempt from Obamacare.
UPDATE (12: 10 PM): Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who has been the architect of the Defund Obamacare effort, is the first speaker. He said when one gets away from the “ruling class” in the beltway, Obamacare is not “controversial,” it is “universally despised.”
“Bad things happen when you pass a 2,700-page bill nobody has read,” Lee said.
Lee said Obama has exempted big business and is doing everything he can to exempt his cronies.
“If the president is not willing to follow his law, then we should not fund it,” Lee said. “If you fund this law, you are for it. So defund it.”
Lee said the myth that the defunding Obamacare battle cannot be won needed to be dispelled.
UPDATE (12:05 PM): While Bannon and Breitbart News editors and reporters were interviewing Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) during the pre-game broadcast, the National Anthem started to be sung and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. As soon as the National Anthem started playing, Lee, Bannon and the Breitbart News crew immediately stopped what they were doing, put their hands on their hearts as the National Anthem was playing and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Though this gesture should not be extraordinary, sadly in this day in age it was refreshing, to say the least. And such gestures are often what make conservative rallies different from rallies held by the left.
UPDATE: (11:55 AM): Marlow said there will be a lot of “happy warriors” at the “Exempt America” rally. Boyle said this rally will symbolize the next manifestation of the Tea Party. Picket said it was great that Americans are continuing to stand up for liberty.
Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle, who was named the recipient of the prestigious Eagle Award for his reporting on the amnesty legislation, and Kerry Picket, who has been lauded for helping set the Benghazi news cycle and narrative with her reporting, joined the panel to discuss their reporting, stories, and investigations that have contributed so much to helping set the narrative
Picket said Speaker Boehner could be thinking of to stepping down after the 2014 midterm elections, and she implied Boehner, as a part of the Super 8, may have heard information that he does not want to make public, and that is why he is doing everything he can to prevent the formation of a Select Committee on Benghazi. Picket also said the next big fight may be over who the next Speaker if Boehner steps down.
Boyle said he has obtained a document from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has had his eyes on the Speakership, telling Republicans how he intends to let Obamacare become law while trying to claim he attempted to defund it. Boyle said House conservatives may be willing to whip against Cantor’s efforts, and said he will have stories forthcoming on Breitbart.com
Boyle said he will continue to expose the House and Senate Republican leadership’s efforts to undermine the efforts of conservatives to defund Obamacare and stop immigration reform.
Picket mentioned that the recall election in Colorado is causing Democrats on Capitol Hill to actually rethink some of their stances on gun issues, cognizant of the fact that they may lose their seats if they push for more gun control.
Bannon and Picket said Terry McAuliffe’s association with Michael Bloomberg and gun control may cost him in the gubernatorial election.
UPDATE: (11:15 AM): Marlow: ‘Exempt America’ Rally ‘Middle Finger’ to MSM
Marlow, Johnson and Bannon talked about what the Tea Party meant to Andrew Breitbart. Marlow discussed how the fight for limited government is a “long game” and there is more clarity about who the good guys and the villains are. He emphasized Americans are fed up with candidates like Mitt Romney and John McCain who are bought and sold by the establishment and the mainstream media.
Marlow said the “Exempt America” rally was a “middle finger” to the mainstream media that do not care about the American people and are doing everything to push Obamacare across the finish line.
Johnson and Marlow, who was Breitbart’s first hire, discussed the importance of the Tea Party to Breitbart. Marlow said the Tea Party was “everything” to Breitbart, who he said had “evolved into a Tea Party patriot.” Marlow mentioned that Breitbart was a liberal in Hollywood before he read Rush Limbaugh’s book and ultimately went to the Drudge Report. Marlow noted, though, that Breitbart became a media figure when he defended the Tea Party against a mainstream media that maligned Tea Party conservatives as racists. Marlow said he saw the most fire in Breitbart’s eyes when Contessa Brewer of MSNBC ran a clip of a black conservative who brought a gun to Tea Party rally and cropped the photo so viewers could not tell he was black. MSNBC then used the photo to advance the false meme that Tea Partiers were solely motivated by their hatred toward Obama, implying there were racial implications behind the hate. Marlow said Breitbart was “righteously indignant” and “livid” that the mainstream media would demean patriots who just wanted limited government and a secure border.
Johnson said she was fired up to carry on Breitbart’s legacy and mentioned how important it was that Breitbart, true to his word, embraced black conservatives like Johnson, brought them in, gave them a platform so they could spread the message of limited government and more freedom. Bannon, Marlow, and Johnson talked about an Obamacare rally in which black Representatives–like Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)–claimed Tea Partiers had called them the “N-word” and spat on them. Bannon mentioned that Breitbart put up a $100,000 reward for video evidence of the smear, and nobody has claimed the award even though there were so many cameras at the event in question on Capitol Hill. Johnson noted that the “irresponsible mainstream media” just runs with anything that they can use to make Tea Partiers seem like they are racists so long as an accusation is out there, and she called out Black Democrats that knowingly enable the mainstream media to level such accusations.
UPDATE: (12:05 PM): During the interview with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the National Anthem started to be sung and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Lee, along with everyone at Breitbart News, immediately stopped the interview and put their hands on their hearts as the National Anthem was playing and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. There should not be anything special or extraordinary about this gesture; but sadly in this day in age, it is refreshing.
UPDATE: (10:35 AM): Jenny Beth Martin and Breitbart’s Sonnie Johnson, who will co-host the program with Bannon and Marlow, joined the show. Johnson said Martin deserved a lot of credit for rallying the grassroots to the point where lawmakers have to now take notice and want to attend and speak at such rallies Johnson said used to not attract high profile lawmakers four years ago.
Martin said the Republican establishment is actually working to keep Obamacare on the books and said it was “despicable” that they would just take symbolic votes and not take meaningful steps to defund Obamacare in order to keep their various positions and assignments in Congress. She said in town halls across the country, conservatives are more than willing to primary lawmakers who are not doing all they can to defund Obamacare.
Martin emphasized that Republicans who do not vote to defund Obamacare own the law and she said these Republicans are “timid” and “more concerned about themselves than the next election.” Martin said Democrats and Nancy Pelosi are more principled than Republicans are because she was willing to lose her speakership to pass Obamacare, yet Republicans are not willing to put it all on the line to defund the law that many got elected to repeal.
“It’s very frustrating,” Martin said of the Republican establishment.
When Marlow asked what the Tea Party will do next if Obamacare becomes law in October, Martin emphasized in addition to doing what they can to fight against the law, conservatives needed to watch out for the Senate’s immigration bill as well.
“We’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to stand up for them,” Martin said of the grassroots.
Bannon noted conservatives are winning more than they are losing, and he mentioned amnesty legislation and Obama’s gun control efforts after Newtown that got defeated. Earlier, Bannon also recalled a conversation he had with his dad in which they discussed that though Obama claims to help the middle class, all of his policies have devastated the middle class. Martin said, as of now, 42 speakers are scheduled to speak at the rally, which kicks off at noon.
Johnson warned Martin that as the Tea Party gains more victories, the media will again call Tea Partiers racists. Johnson quoted the late Andrew Breitbart and told Martin to just say, “so what?”
UPDATE (10:15 AM): Smith joined Bannon and Marlow, who said there is nothing about the Republican establishment that gives “principled conservatives” any hope that Republicans can take back power. Marlow emphasized that conservatives are trying to throw out the Republican establishment like Smith and his group are trying to combat so-called black establishment leaders like Al Sharpton. Bannon and Smith discussed how important it was for black leaders like Smith to go against the establishment and fight against things like the Senate’s immigration bill. Smith noted that the DC March for Jobs Rally, which the Black American Leadership Alliance organized, attracted not just blacks but Americans of all political backgrounds and ethnicities to rally against an immigration bill that would lower their wages or make it more difficult for them to find jobs. Smith and Bannon noted that six weeks after that rally, the momentum against the immigration bill, which is supported by the bipartisan members of the permanent political class, has only intensified and comprehensive immigration reform is in danger of not passing in this Congress in part because of the work of people like Smith, the Frederick Douglas Republicans, and the Black American Leadership Alliance that are countering established liberal establishment organizations.
Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, Citizens United President David Bossie, ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell, Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), K. Carl Smith, the founder of the Frederick Douglas Republicans, and others will be guests on the broadcast before noon, when the speeches begin. Breitbart News will provide coverage of the speeches and additional post-game coverage of the rally after the conclusion of the speakers.
Senators like Cruz and Lee have insisted Congress pass a resolution to fund the government excluding Obamacare and then convince Americans that President Barack Obama and Democrats are willing to shut down the government instead of extending the benefits and exemptions given to big business and special interests.
Appearing on Breitbart News Sunday, Bozell and Martin previewed the rally and said it is a culmination of the multi-state “Exempt America” tour that Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica organized leading up to the rally, which takes place the week Congress returns from its August recess. They specifically emphasized that Republicans in Congress needed stiffer spines that were “tougher than a wet noodle” when it comes to confronting Democrats and advancing conservatism. Bozell said he was motivated to help organize the rally because he feels “a deep sense of betrayal” from Republicans who have made “solemn commitments” for three years to defund the “monstrosity” that is Obamacare.
According to Bozell, Republicans gained a majority in Congress and eighty members were elected, predicated on defunding and repealing Obamacare. It was “infuriating” to see newly-elected Republicans and others like Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) so “solemnly look their constituents in the eye” and tell them “all the things they are doing to end Obamacare” when “in fact they are doing nothing.”
He said this was an example of how “decadent” and “corrupt” Washington has become, noting it is much more so now because government has gotten bigger and there is more money to be doled out.
Martin emphasized those at the rally will watch how Republicans will vote, and she emphasized that Americans across the country came up to them during their tour and said they were ready to back primary challengers to clean house in Congress. Martin emphasized that sentiment was strong in states like South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky, and voters are smart enough to know when the Republican establishment is deceiving them with false promises and rhetoric.