Tea Party Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 01:05 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Wednesday marks the fifth anniversary of the modern tea party movement, which began with a single rant from CNBC's Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

"A lot of people have been credited with starting the modern-day tea party but make no mistake, it was Rick Santelli," conservative talk show host Glenn Beck said  in an email to Business Insider. "His off the cuff monologue spoke the words that millions of Americans felt but could not nor dare not speak."

Santelli was ranting, as he is known to do on CNBC, on Feb. 19, 2009 about the homeowner bailout that was being proposed by the Obama administration.

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"We're thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July," Santelli said in 2009. "All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing."

In 2010, Santelli called the rant the "best five minutes of my life."

He told Business Insider that he doesn't "feel any differently now."

"Lots of people, companies and agencies played a role but that day I was focused on the homeowners that failed in their personal financial responsibility," he said. "It was about contract law and about the government promoting bad behavior."

Santelli said he thinks that he "said something that lit the fuse" that led to the modern-day tea party movement.

"I was fed up, the country was fed up ... taxpayers were on the hook after the credit bubble popped," Santelli said.

The tea party is credited for fueling the GOP's win in the House in 2010 and still remains a force in the Republican Party and politics.

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