Donald Trump’s recent success in presidential polls is evidence that the concerns of the tea party movement, now embraced by the billionaire, reaches beyond the Republican Party, says South Florida Tea Party chairman Everett Wilkinson.
“I think they have not only a large influence on the Republican Party, but also the Democratic Party and politics in general,” Wilkinson told Newsmax.TV at the group's third annual Tax Day Tea Party rally in Boca Raton, Fla., on Saturday.
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“We've seen just in the last couple of weeks, Trump, who people weren't taking seriously as a candidate, came out and said he embraced the tea party values and the same concerns they did. And he rocketed to No. 1. There's a reason why that happens. Our core values of fiscal responsibility ... are wildly popular. Our country needs a new direction – we want strong leadership.
“I see the tea party being not just a Republican thing, but having national and possibly international influence.”
Wilkinson also predicts the looming debate over the raising the federal debt ceiling will be a hot-button issue.
“That’s what started the tea party — how much can we continue to keep bailing out America, bad businesses, and yet future generations pay for it? We’re looking at the debt ceiling as a battle that’s going to force America to look at all the spending and say, ‘How much is enough?’”
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