Like a dog chasing its tail, the left has spent a great amount of time trying to determine who the leader of the Tea Party movement is. And often, there are accusations of prevalent racism among its members. But according to CNBC’s Rick Santelli, the Tea Party is more of a philosophy than a group, which has nothing to do with racism.
“First of all, we should have zero tolerance for racial discrimination, period,” Santelli said. “Beyond that, if the indirect question is, ‘Is the Tea Party racist?’ I think the real question is, ‘Are there racists in the Tea Party?’ And I would contend that statistically there's going to be racists in any group.”
Santelli explained the Tea Party is a philosophy and that its members were from different parts of society – with the central focus of fiscal responsibility.
“I think the Tea Party is more a thought, more a feeling, more a philosophy than it is a party,” he said. “And I think in February of '09, when I was the lightning rod for this movement in many ways, many different, diverse groups of people from all walks of life, all races, all from different areas of the socio-economic spectrum, all intersect in an area that's philosophical. And I think the issue is fiscal responsibility.”
But he did explain how the focus of Tea Party movement, if successful, could impact minorities.
“But with that there's a less spending issue,” Santelli continued. “Less spending affects entitlements. And if you connect the dots, ultimately what we are – the, the Tea Party seems to represent is a movement that we can control spending and we can have good strategies without negatively impacting minorities, which might be a higher proportion of some of these programs, again, affected by spending.”