OTR Interviews

Tea Party fires back: No one's more responsible for shutting the government down than Reid; we're frustrated with BOTH parties

White House, Reid and others call out Tea Party for role in partial suspension of government services, but are they only deflecting blame?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 1, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Less than 24 hours after the government shuts down, the Tea Party taking the brunt of the blame. TeaPartyExpress.org chair Amy Kremer joins us. Nice to see you, Amy.

AMY KREMER, TEAPARTYEXPRESS.ORG CHAIRMAN: Hey, great to see you, Greta. Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: Amy, obviously, the -- the -- many on Capitol Hill are pointing at Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Mike Lee, and they're using the term Tea Party because a many of their policies align with the Tea Party. Do you consider yourselves sort of an adjunct of them or -- when you hear this criticism of the Tea Party, or are you in another category?

KREMER: No, I mean, it was the Tea Party movement that helped, you know, elect them. They -- they're definitely are conservatives. And we are all in this together.

You know, these attacks are coming at us. But Greta, it's nothing that we're not used to. It's been going on for four years now, and we're used to being called these names and everything blamed on the Tea Party movement.

But you know what? That's what happens when they can't have a discussion on the issues. It's the personal attacks. You know, if ObamaCare is so good, then let's have a discussion on the merits of ObamaCare. But they can't do it! So what do they do? They resort to the attacks.

And we haven't shut this government down. There's no one that's more responsible for shutting the government down than Harry Reid!

VAN SUSTEREN: It's -- the terms are anarchists, taking hostage, unreasonable, irrational, you know, that -- the total list of it. Is there -- you know, is -- are -- is your upset or your response or however you want to characterize it -- does it -- does it add more to your numbers? I mean, people joining you? or are people running from the Tea Party?

KREMER: No, I mean, people are joining us because they see what's going on. The American people do not want ObamaCare. And this law was passed without one Republican vote. It's not a good law. And polling shows that Americans are turning on it, the more that they find out about it.

And we're just standing on principle. And these guys -- Ted campaigned to do exactly what he's doing. And House conservatives that are leading the fight in the House, they campaigned to do the same thing. And it's what their constituents want! So more and more people are joining us, especially if they find out how this law is going to affect them!

VAN SUSTEREN: Any politicians sort of at risk for -- by the Tea Party in 2014 in light of what's gone on in the last week or so here in Washington? Is -- have any sort of votes of Republicans or even Democrats that you thought were sort of aligned with Tea Party principles -- are they now at risk?

KREMER: Well, I mean, I'm sure that there will be some that, you know, their constituents will decide to go after them and defeat them. But look, you know, one of the things everybody keeps saying -- what about these moderate or squish Republicans that are calling out the Tea Party? Greta, it's no surprise to us. They're part of the problem.

What people need to understand is the Tea Party movement came into being because we were frustrated with both political parties, but especially the Republican Party. And they've contributed to the out-of- control spending and big government, these regulations, as well. So I'm sure that come election time, that we will see some of them voted out.

VAN SUSTEREN: I've seen a couple of Republicans call out the Tea Party.

KREMER: Right. Of course. But Greta, you know why? Because we are a threat to their power base, their structure. We're more of a threat to the Republican Party than we are to the Democrats.

And you know, it's the same thing with Governor Sarah Palin and Allen West. The reason they don't like us is because they can't control us. But when we work for their cause, you know, like in 2010 when we -- 2010 wouldn't have happened without the Tea Party movement.

But the Republican Party likes to claim credit for it. So they like to claim credit when we do the good things, but then if they're not controlling us, they like to call us out. Washington likes to have everything in control, and they don't like what's going on right now. They want to be part of that good old boy, go along to get along club. And we're just -- that's what's gotten us into this mess. And we're not going to stand for it anymore.

And thankfully, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Tom Graves and Mark Meadows in the House, they're standing up -- and Louie Gohmert -- they're standing up and fighting for the American people! Finally, we have somebody fighting for us!

VAN SUSTEREN: Amy, it's always nice to see you. Thank you for joining us.

KREMER: Great to see you, Greta. Thanks for having me.