Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and President of Tea Party Patriots, gave a speech today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that had the crowd buzzing, affirming the group’s support for Ted Cruz while blasting front runner Donald Trump as a fraud.
Martin said that the traits necessary in a conservative candidate who seeks the endorsement of the Tea Party are simple – Love of country, and love for the Constitution.
“We’re just regular people, nothing special,” Martin said. “We share something in common – a deep and abiding love for our country, and for what makes it so SPECIAL: Our Constitution, and the rights it protects.”
These are “rights that came to us from our Creator, not our government,” she explained.
Donald Trump however, does not love our country and the Constitution the way conservatives do. In fact, he has but one true love according to the Tea Party leader:
— Antonia Okafor (@antonia_okafor) March 4, 2016
She continued during her speech, which was surprisingly devoid of Trump supporters shouting her down:
I know DONALD TRUMP says he loves the Tea Party – but THAT’S not what it TAKES to be Tea Party.
If you want to be Tea Party, you have to love our COUNTRY and you have to love our CONSTITUTION.
And you have to be willing to FIGHT for THEM ABOVE YOUR OWN INTERESTS and PUT OUR FREEDOM ABOVE YOUR OWN INTERESTS.
Let me ask you a question – have you EVER heard DONALD TRUMP talk about the CONSTITUTION?
I haven’t. And I’ve got serious questions about his fidelity to the document all Tea Partiers REVERE.
Martin particularly railed on Trump for his statements in which he claimed he would “open up the libel laws” to make it easier to sue media that report things in a manner he disagrees with – a direct affront to the First Amendment.
“The right to speak freely, without fear of reprisal, is enshrined in our Constitution,” Martin said. “It’s what makes America different from every other country on the face of the earth – here, we can speak our mind, even criticize our government and our political leaders, without fear of reprisal.”
“When I hear a candidate say he wants to mess with our rights to free speech, I fear for our Constitution and I fear for our country.”
She finished, “Donald Trump is about love of himself, but the Tea Party is about love of country, and love of our constitution.”