Despite former Rep. Tom Tancredo’s fiery kickoff to the National Tea Party convention last night, ABC News’ John Berman reports that the activist gathering in Nashville has been more about grassroots organizing than riling up supporters.
Last night, Tancredo called Obama a socialist and said he won the presidency in 2008 because “we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country.”
Berman notes that while rhetoric like that was frequently heard at tea party marches and rallies across the country, the tone in Nashville so far has been “relatively sedate.”
“It’s about 600 delegates from around the country each who paid $550 to be here and they’re going to break out sessions where they’re talking about things like voter registration or leadership or using the internet, how to do practical things to spread their message and their movement,” Berman said.
That attendance fee has caused some consternation among tea party activists who are not in Nashville and are upset that the event is turning a profit for its organizers.
“There are plenty of people and tea party activists who say it’s ridiculous, it goes against the very grassroots nature of the event,” Berman said.