During an online question and answer session, former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, took full credit for the start of the tea party and said the movement “was taken over by the Republican Party.”
As reported by LewRockwell.com, when asked what went wrong with the tea party, Paul replied: “The tea party was actually started during the Ron Paul presidential campaign in 2007 when there was a spontaneous money-bomb that was done on the anniversary of the original tea party.”
According to Boston.com, Paul supporters did organize a “money bomb” on Dec. 16, 2007 dubbed Boston Tea Party 07, timed to coincide with the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.
Many in the tea party bristle at the notion that Ron Paul is the father of the movement. In their eyes, the movement was launched on Feb. 19, 2009 by CNBC’s Rick Santelli in what is now known as the “rant heard around the world.”
Ironically, the previous fund-raising blitz for Paul in 2007 was timed to coincide with Guy Fawkes Day. With Guy Fawkes masks becoming a signature item for Occupy Wall Street last year, will Paul also take credit for this movement?
As for what has happened to the tea party, Paul said:
“What happened after that was that a lot of people came onboard – including Republicans – who watered down some of the beliefs, and certainly changed the opinion of some on foreign policy so that the original Tea Party movement was taken over by the Republican Party, which I think was part of the problem.”
When asked if he planned to run for president again in 2016, Paul said, “I have no plans to run for office at this time,” adding that he will continue to “promote the cause of liberty.”