This morning on ABC’s Good Morning America, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) embraced the protesters at today’s 9/12 March in Washington, DC, saying that he was “glad they’re here to take back their country.” He characterized the attendees as nonpartisan, adding that “it’s not about President Obama. It’s not about the Democrats.” Several other Republican lawmakers, including Reps. Tom Price (GA), Mike Pence (IN), Marsha Blackburn (T), and Phil Gingrey (GA) planned to attend and speak at the event.
Members of ThinkProgress attended today’s march and the signs carried by these protesters were hardly nonpartisan — and were often racist, radical portrayals of Obama, despite DeMint’s claim. Some examples of what we saw:
In an interview with the Washington Independent, DeMint claimed that the attendees at the march were “a cross-section of the population.” When it was pointed out to him that almost everyone there was white, DeMint simply said, “It’s probably just the time and organization and the media that promoted it.”
Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) presidential campaign, has warned conservatives from embracing events like the 9/12 March. “It’s bad for Republicans because in the absence of any real leadership, the freaks fill the void and define the party,” McKinnon said.
More signs from the event here, including ones that say, “Thank ‘God’ 4 Fox” and “Ayn Rand was right.” Other signs showed Obama as a “Democratic Socialism” and called him a “bloodsucking…alien.” More offensive signs here and here and here.
,At today’s march, DeMint repeated his Waterloo remarks, announcing to the crowd, “Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome to Waterloo!” He claimed that the health care debate is “a critical battle for the heart and soul of America, and for freedom itself. Freedom fighters are outnumbered in congress, but not in America. If you continue to stand up and speak out, we will save freedom in America.”
,We saw another protester wearing a t-shirt calling himself a “freedom rider.” The real freedom riders were civil rights activists who rode buses into the segregated South in the 1960s:
,DeMint told Fox News that today’s attendees were “informed” and “outraged.” “I’ve never been so proud to be an American,” he said.