Tea Party group denounces NAACP ‘smear’

Jeff Winkler Contributor
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One of the most prominent Tea Party groups says a new report about extremism and racism in the movement is a politically motivated “smear.”

The NAACP, in coordination with the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, today published a report that it says documents the extremist elements in the Tea Party movement advocating racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia.

The report, “Tea Party Nationalism,” is “meant to expose the links between certain Tea Party factions and acknowledged racist hate groups in the United States,” according to NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. However, he acknowledges in the report’s introduction that “the majority of Tea Party supporters are sincere, principled people of good will.”

Judson Phillips, communications director for FreedomWorks, isn’t buying it.

“Look at the timing of the report,” said Phillips. “Tea Party candidates are out their polling pretty well. It’s just another smear campaign.”

“They don’t want to separate the Tea Party from extremism,” Philips added. “What they want is to label anyone who disagrees with them as extremists.”