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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Tea Party

Craig Schulz

Washington, DC

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Rendell Rejects Tea Party as Legit Movement

April 24, 2010 - 2:57 PM | by: Craig Schulz

Ed Rendell, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told Fox News on Saturday that the Tea Party movement reflects the anger many Americans feel about the current state of the economy, but dismissed the notion of the Tea Party as a legitimate political movement.

“What’s happening,” Rendell said, “is the mainstream media – I’m not blaming the conservative media – I think the mainstream media has fallen for this… hook, line and sinker.”

Rendell specifically mentioned two recent Tea Party rallies in Washington to illustrate his point – the one held a week before the health care vote, and the other on Tax Day. Rendell said neither attracted more than a couple of thousand people to the National Mall.

“There’s just no clout behind this movement,” Rendell said. “It reflects what people feel, but the actual movement itself has no infrastructure, has no ability to bring a lot of people to key sites at key moments in time. If I organized a rally to have stronger laws to protect puppies, I would get 100,000 people in Washington without breaking a sweat.”

A recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found 17% of the registered voters consider themselves a part of the Tea Party movement.

“They identify with the anger,” Rendell said. “I don’t think they identify with the movement. I don’t think the Tea Party has been very successful in fielding their own candidates. I don’t think they’ve been very successful in getting the number of signatures on petitions – we’ll see as we go through.”

Rendell did not question the suggestion that many Democrats identify with the Tea Party.

“There are Democrats who are angry about what’s gone on – they think the government should have done a better job watching Wall Street. Of course there is legitimate anger out there. The Tea Party is representative of a slice of that anger but to say that this is a political movement just doesn’t comport with the facts and the reality.”

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