This is America. How many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills?
Rick Santelli (2009), quoted in "The Economist", 8th October 2011, p. 60
According to "The Economist", that was the inspiration for the Tea Party movement
People ask me if I'm the father of the Tea Party movement. I was the spark [...] that started it. If being the lightning rod that started the Tea Party is what's written on my tombstone, I'll be very happy.
The challenge, I think, for the tea party movement is to identify specifically, what would you do? It's not enough just to say, "Get control of spending." I think it's important for you to say, you know, "I'm willing to cut veterans' benefits," or, "I'm willing to cut Medicare or Social Security benefits," or, "I'm willing to see these taxes go up."
I see a lot of parallels between my candidacy and the Tea Party. I would not have been elected had there not been a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction and discouragement and disgust with what was going on in Washington.