Thousands Come Aboard 'Second American Revolution'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 31, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Hop on! But only if you're fightin' mad about health care, taxes, and you think our government is sticking its nose too far into your business! It is the Tea Party Express. Protesters are heading across country, hitting 35 cities in 16 days to land in D.C. and give their politicians an earful.

FOX News's Griff Jenkins was with them in Nevada this weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're stepping on the Constitution. They're stepping on all our civil liberties. We're just fighting back now. It's growing. The movement is growing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: America is not going the way America should be going. We should be going straight to the Founding Fathers. And Christianity as our -- as our base.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want my country back. You know, I don't mind going to work, but I'm not going to be working to support somebody else. You know, enough of this nonsense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here to tell the government we need to go back to the Constitution. We need to go back to free market principles.


VAN SUSTEREN: Griff followed them and now joins us in Flagstaff, Arizona -- Griff.

GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS: Greta, welcome to Flagstaff, Arizona! Just a few thousand people showed up here tonight and wanted to have their voices heard! As you can see, they're upset. As you mentioned, they're upset with health care. They're upset with the intrusiveness of the government. They're upset with the bail-outs. They're upset with the czars.

Greta, this is an important story! As you played (ph) in that package, we were in Elko (ph), we were in Winnemaka (ph), we were in Ely (ph), Nevada. Now we're in Flagstaff.




JENKINS: They're chanting "USA!" We saw more of the same thing today in Las Vegas. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we have awakened the sleeping giant. For a long time, people were either numb to it or oblivious to it. And when the final -- after the stimulus bill and all the other things, when the health care finally came home and people began to began to read what was going on in that thousand-page document, there was a lot of alarm. And I think that has rang through this community very strongly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well (INAUDIBLE) just want to know one question. Why did you have the health care debate over the phone and not in person? Are you afraid of the people and what the people really have to say?

JENKINS: What's the message? What do you want the politicians in Washington, President Obama to know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let the American people do what they do best, make this country great. Leave us alone. Protect this country's freedom, and get back to the Constitution.




VAN SUSTEREN: Greta, here in Flagstaff, they are small business owners, they're miners, they're farmers. They (INAUDIBLE) Can I ask you a question? Do you feel like Washington's listening to you?


JENKINS: That is the story. Now, Greta, an important thing (ph) you and I discussed earlier. We got an e-mail to "On the Record" from a gentleman named David in Elko, part of that package we saw earlier, beautiful place, gold mining country. He said he's tired of being called, quote, "hicks" as people portray (ph) it. So all we're doing here -- we're trying let these folks let their voices be heard. Two buses rolled in here on the Tea Party Express. You've see it. We've shown it since Friday. We're going to continue going to New Mexico tomorrow, to Albuquerque, to Las Cruces. It's going all the way! And I've talked to a handful of people going all the way to Washington, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Griff, I told (ph) you that e-mail on, but what you can't see there but I'm going to show the views, is I got a picture e-mailed to me just a short time ago from someone named -- a woman named Denise Patterson (ph), and it is a picture of you with Denise Patterson. She sent me the picture. And so the viewers -- they can see it right now. There's Griff and Denise Patterson in Las Vegas. So you are now on TV, Griff, in a picture. You're -- you know, you're a big celebrity now on the -- on the -- on the computer.

Anyway, Griff, how about any counter-protests?

JENKINS: You know, we saw a couple of people across the street showed up with a couple of signs that said, you know, We want a public option, honk if you want a public option. They're just across the street. I'm not sure if they're still there. But this is -- "Kill the bill," they're saying. This is a very...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

JENKINS: ... peaceful crowd...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kill the bill! Kill the bill!

JENKINS: ... and I think if there were people with opposite opinions, they would be received here, as well. We haven't seen any violence. We haven't seen any shouting. And Greta, I appreciate you saying a silly thing there, that I'm a star. But let me tell you who the star is. It's every one of these people. It's the America that Washington forgot about. It's the America that Washington doesn't want to hear from. And apparently, these folks want them to know they better start listening!

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Griff. Well, we'll check in with you...

JENKINS: This gentlemen, Greta, from Wisconsin. A fellow badger. What's your name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Robert, and I just want to say, Greta, we graduated from the same school. I love you, watch you every night. But we have something really important that we're facing right now. Congress does not pay Social Security. We all have to. They're not going to live by this bill! They're going to make us do it! You know what? Go green, recycle Congress! How about a hand for Greta!



VAN SUSTEREN: Tell them thank you, Griff, and tell them I said Go, Badgers! Griff, thank you, and we'll catch up with you tomorrow night on this journey of yours. Thank you, Griff.

Steve Moore, senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal, joins us. You know...

STEPHEN MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, "THE END OF PROSPERITY" CO- AUTHOR: What are -- what are badger fans doing out in Tucson, Arizona? I guess...


VAN SUSTEREN: ... it may be snowing already in Wisconsin. Wow! I mean, it's amazing! I mean -- I mean, obviously, these collect a lot of enthusiastic people, but it certainly -- it doesn't look like that sort of Astroturf. I'm getting -- I'm getting...

MOORE: It sure isn't!

VAN SUSTEREN: ... tons of e-mails.

MOORE: This is like a second American revolution! I mean, you have people all over the country who are attending these. They are -- they are a cross-section of Americans. A lot of them are independents. When I've been to these tea parties and town hall meetings, a lot of times, it's people who've never been politically active before. It's everyone from housewives...

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, they're not wearing tie-dyed T-shirts!


MOORE: Exactly!

VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, the last time...

MOORE: You know, I wanted to say something about the -- you know, you're showing all of these signs. It's interesting. There was a -- there was a town hall meeting out in northern Virginia, where I live, and it was interesting. The people were protesting against the health care bill. They all had handmade signs that -- you know, like the ones that you see on the screen right now. The people who...


MOORE: The people who -- who were in favor of the plan, they were -- they had been handed signs by the unions that said things like, "Health care now!" So these are great Americans, though! It's fantastic! These are patriots! They're people who -- who don't want the government to be telling -- dictating how much money they give for bail-outs and -- and they're mad about the deficits, and they're mad about this health care plan, so it's great to see people so active.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's -- I mean, I cannot get off the fact that it's just that these do not look -- not that there's such a thing as your typical protester...

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... but I think probably there is a little bit of your typical protester.


VAN SUSTEREN: And you know, you -- I mean, I have such a fixed idea. It's not usually someone who tends to be...

MOORE: You know...

VAN SUSTEREN: ... a little bit older and...

MOORE: There's a lot of truth to that. And you know, I think one of the reasons that this has thrown the Obama administration off their game a little bit is I think a lot of liberals think, you know, they all -- people who protest are liberals. And these are people who are (INAUDIBLE) very much like people who protested against the Vietnam war in the 1960s and so on. But that's why I said a lot of these people have never really protested before. They've never been that politically active. I think a lot of them, by the way, are the types of Ross Perot voters that we saw in -- in 1992.

VAN SUSTEREN: But you know, you think of protests as, you know, Don't send me to war. Don't send me to Vietnam.

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Vietnam is over (ph), or Don't send me to Iraq, or something. It's usually -- it's -- I mean, it's oftentimes -- not always, but associated with war. This is really an economic protest. And it also...

MOORE: Yes, but don't forget...

VAN SUSTEREN: And also telling the government, you know, basically...

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... Don't tread on me.

MOORE: Right. But remember, why do they call these "tea parties"? These -- these are basically named after the Boston tea party. I mean, let's face it. America was founded on the premise of a tax revolt, a revolt against out-of-control government. That's why I say this is like a second American revolution, where people are just -- they feel like their government is out of control, that Congress is not listening to them. I love that idea of "Recycle Congress" because -- and by the way, I think these people will be heard from in November of 2012.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think, you know, when they get to D.C. on September 12 -- I mean, I don't know what the number's going to be...

MOORE: That's going to be huge!

VAN SUSTEREN: ... but you know, it could -- I mean, if there's a huge number, it's not going to be...

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... without an impact.

MOORE: There's an event in West Virginia on Labor Day. They're expecting 100,000 people to show up at...

VAN SUSTEREN: That many?

MOORE: Yes. So this is...

VAN SUSTEREN: Man, that's extraordinary!

MOORE: ... this is huge! I mean, that's like -- you couldn't fit all 100,000 people in Michigan Stadium! These are huge, huge events!

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think -- do you think anyone's listening? I mean, in Congress?

MOORE: You know, here's the point. I think that the -- that the -- that the Obama people made a big mistake when they insulted people and they said these are people who have swastikas or this is un-American. This is not un-American! This is great! This is Americana!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there's a guy who was -- who wrote me an e-mail, and he was offended because he went to it and had genuine interest in -- in -- you know, in his philosophy, his political philosophy, and he was called a hick, you know, in some media outlet. And he said, I'm not a hick.

MOORE: Yes. Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: Just because I disagree with you, I'm a hick?

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) something else.

MOORE: I think this is only -- the attacks against -- when they called these people, you know, mobsters and things like that, I think that's only turned out more people. People are insulted by the fact that Washington and politicians snubbed (SIC) their nose at them.

VAN SUSTEREN: People were -- people were sending me e-mails going to Whole Foods because they were so offended that...

MOORE: Right.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... that the CEO happened to have a different idea on how to reform health care and (INAUDIBLE) huge backlash.

MOORE: But here's -- here's the bottom line here. These people are having a huge impact. I mean, they are truly -- this is truly grass roots politics at its very best. This is what America's all about. These folks, these hundreds of thousands of people who are turning out, please keep -- keep shouting. You are being heard in Washington, and they fear you in Washington!

VAN SUSTEREN: And the interesting thing is -- and I'm going to take the last word on this -- on April 15, no one knew that still deep in August, we'd be doing -- we'd be talking (INAUDIBLE)

MOORE: Who had -- who could have thought (INAUDIBLE)

VAN SUSTEREN: Steve, thank you.

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