Tea Party Leader: Trump ‘Has No Business Thinking’ He’s One Of Us

Tea Party activist Jenny Beth Martin had some harsh words for GOP frontrunner Donald Trump during a Friday speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“He loves himself more than our country,” the Tea Party Patriot co-founder said. “He loves himself more than the Constitution. He does not love you or me. He does not love the Tea Party. Donald Trump has no business thinking he is Tea Party.”

The real estate tycoon has spoken fondly of the conservative movement, which opposes big government, universal healthcare and high taxes.

Last week, he suggested on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that he was being audited because of his embrace of Tea Party principles.

“It could be because I’m a big believer in the Tea Party,” Trump told host John Dickerson. “I love the people of the Tea Party.”

Martin disavowed this support as lip service in her Friday speech. Shortly after her address ended, Trump announced that he would no longer be giving his scheduled speech at CPAC on Saturday.

“I have got serious questions about his fidelity to the document Tea Partiers revere,” Martin said, referring to the Constitution. She brought up Trump’s recent claims that he would “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue journalists, as well as his previous support for universal healthcare and tax increases.

Martin framed Trump as a political creature whose beliefs shifted to accommodate his own self-interest. She urged conservatives not to be swayed by his appeal to their “anger.”

“When he says he wants to make America great again, we cheer because we all believe America is great,” she said. “We appreciate what sounds like love of country on his part. It’s a seductive hitch. I have several friends and colleagues who support him even as I speak. Here is what I think: Donald Trump loves himself first, last, and everywhere in between.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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