ABC News' Amy Walter reports:
In an interview today with ABC’s Top Line, FreedomWorks president and CEO Matt Kibbe pushed back on remarks made yesterday by civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Walter Fauntroy characterization of the Tea Party as “interchangeabl[e]” with the KKK.
Kibbe, whose group is linked closely with the Tea Party movement, called Fauntroy’s characterization “a smear” and argued that tea party activists are a “very diverse group.”
When asked about his expectations for Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally on Saturday (FreedomWorks is not sponsoring the event, but they are helping to provide volunteers), Kibbe said he expected a turn-out in the 400,000 to 500,000 range. The National Park Service’s estimate is 100,000 people, while the Department of Homeland Security put expectations at 100,00 to 200,000.
FreedomWorks is also hosting an event this evening in Washington, DC in which they will, in the words of Kibbe highlight their “our candidates we've endorsed that we think represent the true center of American politics today.” According to a speaker list on the FreedomWorks website , that includes senate candidates Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), David Malpass (R-NY), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dino Rossi (R-WA).
When asked if he thought candidates like Sharron Angle (R-NV), who has been attacked ceaselessly by Democrats as out of the mainstream, was part of that “true center” of American politics, Kibbe said yes. “I think she is and I think it’s not enough to be a Republican anymore to win a republican primary. You have to credibly say 'I’m going to go to Washington and actually cut some programs. I'm going to go to Washington and not use the earmark process to get myself reelected."
Also joining Top Line was Washington Post reporter Perry Bacon Jr., who discussed the latest development in the Alaska senate race and the prospects for many of these Tea Party candidates this fall.
- Amy Walter