Event organizers for the National Tea Party Unity Convention say their plans have become victim to the “Obama economy,” and the meetings are being canceled for now.
Judson Phillips, who is with FreeAmerica.org, told WND that there were insufficient ticket sales to continue plans for the event that had been scheduled for October.
“The convention ended up being another casualty of the Obama economy,” Phillips, the Tea Party Nation founder, told WND. “The economy has taken the wind out of everybody’s sails. People are worried about their jobs, and paying for things.”
According to a statement released by Phillips’ organization, “This decision simply came down to a matter of economics. A number of people contacted FreeAmerica.org, saying they would love to come, but because of the economy, they simply could not.”
The Nashville-based Tea Party Nation will continue its political activities across the United States in spite of the cancellation, said Phillips.
The conference had been planned in Las Vegas because President Obama has told Americans not to go to Las Vegas, and because Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate majority leader, is up for re-election in November.
Phillips also commented on recent efforts by some Tea Party activists to focus the Tea Party exclusively on economics and ignore social issues.
“That kind of attitude is just nuts,” said Phillips. “Here’s a secret of politics: In order to win you need a majority. When you start having these ideological purity contests, all that does is destroy your consensus.”
Phillips contended that the Tea Party movement would not lose support by engaging on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
“You would probably lose some, but that would be offset by the new people you bring in. You might have a net pickup of members,” he suggested.
Phillips also said the Tea Party movement is far more unified than some recent news reports might suggest.
“The notion that there has to be a division between social and fiscal conservatives is a fiction put out by the other side,” he said.