Tea Party Express Hits Las Cruces, Mexico

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," September 1, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, they're angry about health care, angry about taxes, angry about the exploding size of our government, and they want government to get its nose out of their business! The Tea Party Express rolling on down the highway, 35 cities in 16 days. Final stop will be right here in Washington, D.C. But where are they tonight? Well, Griff Jenkins is with the Tea Party Express in Las Cruces, New Mexico -- Griff.

JENKINS: That's right, Greta! This is the ninth stop, the fifth day, and I've found one thing about the folks in Las Cruces. They seem to love their country, I think!


JENKINS: And they're worried about the direction that the country's headed. They're worried about the bail-outs. And this party, Greta, is very resembling of the same one we saw earlier today in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Look at what happened in Albuquerque earlier today.


JENKINS: What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Jan Hayes (ph).

JENKINS: Jan, why are you out here today?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm really concerned about what's happening to our country.

JENKINS: And what's the message? What do you want Washington to know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are fed up! And Texas is really fed up. And we're going to do something about it.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My kids and my grandchildren -- we can't afford what's going on in Washington right now, and we need to do everything we can to put a stop to it before it's too late.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not black. We are not white. We are Americans!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) There are just absolutely shocking things that are in this health care bill!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This health care thing...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This kind of wraps up all of our objections in one nice neat package, doesn't it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to defend this country. I want to take it back. I -- I believe Washington seems to be a little lost or off-track.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want young people to get more involved and understand their government. Otherwise, we'll lose it.


JENKINS: Greta, there's an important thing to point out. The "tea party express,' the two buses, the folks we've seen are traveling all across the country. But the events are being organized by local people. They're singing Lee Greenwood, if you can't hear it.

I'm joined by Mary Johnson. Mary, you organized this local tea party in Las Cruces. Why did you do it?

MARY JOHNSON, LAS CRUCES TEA PARTY ORGANIZER: Because I wanted us to unite. I want us to have one cohesive voice and shine and be heard.

JENKINS: And there are a thousand or 2,000 people here. Did you think you would have this sort of response?

JOHNSON: I was shooting for a thousand. I'm extremely happy with what I've gotten. It's just -- it's been over and above my imagination.

JENKINS: Mary, Barack Obama carried this state 57 percent. Here in Las Cruces, Obama carried 58 percent to McCain's 41. Is this a message that's going to resound in Washington? Do you think this is going to effect some change perhaps with your local congressman or others in Washington?

JOHNSON: Most definitely!

JENKINS: And how committed are you to seeing this through? Are you going to be doing this a year from now?

JOHNSON: I will do it until it's fixed!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

JENKINS: Greta, they're shouting, "Kill the bill." And I think they want their voices heard in Washington.



VAN SUSTEREN: Griff, can you see of any of them voted for President Obama in November? I'm curious, you know, to see whether or not they've changed their minds. I take they're not big fans right now. So ask if anyone voted for President Obama in November.

JENKINS: They sure did! Bill (ph), come over a second very quickly. Do you see this sign, Greta? It says "I have voter's remorse." I talked to you earlier tonight. Now, tell, me, did you vote for President Obama?


JENKINS: And now you seem to have changed your mind. Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, because there is no change. It's same old - - same old, same old. And he's got radical views and he's spending way too much money. And the other one is, is there's no transparency.

JENKINS: Well, thank you. And you know, Greta, that's -- Mary, are you seeing a lot of independents coming out, or is this some sort of Republican club?

JOHNSON: No. This is bipartisan. It's everybody coming out, and everybody has a voice and concerns. And they want to speak (ph) them. They want to be heard.

JENKINS: This is interesting, too, Greta. How many people are professional protesters? How many people are here for the first time?


JENKINS: I don't know about you, Greta, but it seems like this groundswell is pretty darn legitimate and these folks want their voices heard. And Mary is going to be committed to be doing it all the way through next year -- Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Griff, how about -- are people -- is there a counter- protest? Are there people there with the opposite views?

JENKINS: We haven't seen any counter-protesters. Is anybody a counter-protester? We haven't seen any -- oh, he's -- he's (INAUDIBLE) We haven't seen any of the protesters. Like last night, we saw a few supporting health care specifically. But again, this is about a number of issues, health care, bail-outs, taxes, czars. You name it, they're out here and they're upset about it -- Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. What's -- what's your next -- what's the next destination of this bus?

JENKINS: After Las Cruces, we're headed -- we're about 40 miles north of the border. We're headed even closer, to El Paso, Texas, tomorrow, all the way through Texas. Then we're headed to Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky. This train, bus, express goes all the way to Washington, as you know.


VAN SUSTEREN: Let me -- let me get this straight. Griff, so that the viewers understand it, you aren't on this bus, you're following and reporting about what's going on, right? Is that -- am I right on that? You're not on this bus?

JENKINS: That's correct. I'm not on the bus. I haven't been on the bus yet. I'm just documenting, following these people because it's an interesting movement. It may be a movement that grows, and I want to document it and see as much as we can and to challenge it. But we are not on the bus. We are not a part of it. I am simply reporting on this, although we might try and get at some point, perhaps tomorrow, later this week, an inside look of how the bus works and the players on it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I'd love to see...


VAN SUSTEREN: I'd love to see a camera get -- I'd love to see you get a camera inside that bus because I'm sort of curious, you know, what they're talking about and doing inside that bus, as well. But certainly, we're getting an outside look at the bus. So we'll see you tomorrow night, Griff, and...

JENKINS: Well, I tell you what...


JENKINS: I tell you what, Greta. I will get on that bus for you tomorrow! You'll get a report right here on that bus, behind the scenes, Tea Party Express!


VAN SUSTEREN: Why do I know that's going to happen! It sounds like it definitely will. Griff, thank you, and we'll talk to you tomorrow night at your next stop. Thanks, Griff.

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