ELKHART — The Tea Party Express, a national group pushing the conservative tea party cause, rallied in Elkhart on Friday, part of a 22-day tour across the country.
Many speakers called for President Obama’s ouster on Election Day, Nov. 6, one of the group’s key messages.
“We work for what we get,” said Lloyd Marcus, an author and tea party activist, but under the Obama administration, handouts have become the norm. “That’s why we need to vote the evil, racist administration out of here.”
He later sang a song to the tune of “New York, New York,” substituting the standard words with political lyrics. “This socialist nightmare, brothers, is going to come to an end because we’re going to vote them out in 46 more days,” Marcus sang.
The presidential hopefuls of some attendees Friday may not have made it to the ballot, said Amy Kremer, the Tea Party Express chairwoman. Mitt Romney battled with several Republicans during the primary season before securing the GOP nomination.
“But you guys, we didn’t get here overnight and we’re not going to change it overnight,” she continued. The tea party cause advances in “baby steps.”
Donna Johnson of Elkhart attended with husband Dave, spurred in part by distaste with the Democratic administration. She held a sign reading “The change was bad... Now hope is fading” while he toted one reading “Fire Obama.”
Obama “distorts things by saying things are better,” Donna Johnson said. “They’re not.”
The rally took place at Kardzhali Park by the NIBCO Water and Ice Park in downtown Elkhart. Tea Party Express speakers addressed the crowd and musicians performed, conveying a conservative message.
Curt Nisly, a local tea party activist who served as Elkhart County liaison to the Sacramento, Calif.-based Tea Party Express, estimated 200 people attended. Many wore T-shirts with emblems of Romney or Richard Mourdock, the GOP U.S. Senate hopeful in Indiana, and some waved yellow flags reading, “Don’t tread on me.”
“People are saying the tea party is dead,” Nisly said. “I think this is proof the tea party is very much alive.”
The Tea Party Express’ Winning for America tour started Sept. 11 and will go through 38 cities in 22 states through Oct. 2. The group stopped in Elkhart on a tour last year.