Tea Party members and sympathizers from across the East Coast participated Tuesday in the “People’s Surge Against Obamacare,” where Tea Party members expressed their discontent on the health care bill.
Protestors made their way around the District to meet with representatives but maintained a constant presence near the Capitol building, as they did at another Tea Party protest that took place last semester on Sept. 12.
AU College Republicans president Michael Monrroy said a Facebook message was sent to the club two days before the protest to make sure AU students knew about it.
Monrroy did not attend the rally because he was at work all day but would have attended otherwise, he said.
The Tea Party’s name comes from the acronym “Taxed Enough Already,” and its values on economic issues are in line with those of Republicans, Monrroy said.
“The Tea Party movement is a great thing ... When they’ve been united with the Republican Party, it’s been a great thing for all of us,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy in the Tea Party movement, and activists in the Tea Party can help elect candidates.”
At the September protest, an estimated 10 to 15 members of the College Republicans attended, including Monrroy, The Eagle previously reported.
Monrroy does not personally know of any AU College Republicans who went, he said.
Colin Böse-Meddings, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, attended the September Tea Party rally but not the one on Tuesday. Böse-Meddings is a member of the student Libertarian group Students for Liberty, and he went in September to represent the Libertarian community, he said.
“I think it’s important that the Tea Party exists because I think the Republican Party is becoming more and more in favor of big government, and the Tea Party says they believe in small government,” Böse-Meddings said.
He did not go to the Tea Party rally Tuesday because he did not like the way it was done, he said.
“I respect the ideals espoused by the Tea Party; however, I don’t necessarily agree with how they go about it,” Böse-Meddings said.
Other AU students say that the Tea Party lacks unity, which deters them from affiliating with it. Because of the variety of concerns expressed by the Tea Party and a lack of unity, AU sophomore in the School of International Service Megan Karpf said she did not know what exactly the Tea Party stands for.
“I think they’re an extreme response group to Obama being elected ... I don’t think they’re actually arguing anything,” Karpf said.
Alberto Halpern, a senior in SPA, said he thinks the Tea Party is the source of a great deal of confusion because of Tea Party members’ inconsistent claims.
When asked to ascribe a political label to the Tea Party, such as “liberal” or “conservative,” Halpern responded, “I would call them crazy.”
Staff writer Meg Fowler contributed to this report.