Video: Palin rallies rage at the Boston Tea Party

  1. Transcript of: Palin rallies rage at the Boston Tea Party

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And now to the anger. The tea party movement , for one, sparked by foreclosures , job losses, Wall Street bailouts and in some cases just plain politics. Today they held a party in the original tea party city of Boston . A lot of anger was coming from the podium at the rally and one of the featured speakers Sarah Palin . Our own Rehema Ellis is with us now from Boston Common . Rehema , good evening .

    REHEMA ELLIS reporting: Good evening , Brian . In this city where the American revolutionary spirit was born some 200 years ago, Sarah Palin and the tea party movement found a warm welcome.

    Ms. SARAH PALIN: This is about the people. This is the people's movement .

    ELLIS: The mega star of the conservative movement rallied thousands of tea party supporters on Boston Common , demanding change.

    Ms. PALIN: We need to cut taxes so that our families can keep more of what we earn and produce , and our mom and pops then, our small businesses , can reinvest according to our own priorities and hire more people.

    ELLIS: At the event , one of 20 on the tea party express tour, Palin blasted what she calls big government .

    Ms. PALIN: Is this what their change is all about? I want to tell them, ` Nah , you know, we'll keep clinging to our Constitution and our guns and religion, and you can keep the change.'

    ELLIS: Many at the rally say they're frustrated.

    Ms. DIDA HAGAN: I'm not a racist. I'm not a moron. I'm not stupid. I am a mother , a wife, a daughter , a sister, a nice person who pays taxes , too many taxes .

    Mr. TOM BERRY: Have you looked at the debt clock lately? It's enormous. Everybody's taking us to the same place. It's just the party in power now is taking us there faster.

    ELLIS: While rallies like this one tap into a growing sentiment of discontent about government , an underlying question here is what does the future hold for its keynoter Sarah Palin . Since resigning as Alaska 's governor, Palin has reportedly earned $12 million on book deals, speaking engagements and TV ventures.

    Mr. DOMENICO MONTANARO (NBC News Political Unit): Sarah Palin certainly hasn't ruled out a 2012 run, but she's made a lot of money since she resigned as governor of Alaska , and chances are she's not ready to give that up right now.

    Ms. PALIN: We need Congress to hear us.

    ELLIS: For now, Palin is continuing her campaign with tea party supporters and gearing up for election season.

    Ms. PALIN: So, folks, from now until November, when they say, `Yes, we can,' we're going to all say, `Oh, no you don't.'

    ELLIS: One high-profile Republican not among the thousands out here today, freshman Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown , who pundits say is keeping his distance as he tries to find his political legs in Washington . And, Brian , we should tell you that the tea party express , without Sarah Palin , makes it way to the nation's capital tomorrow on tax day . Brian :

    WILLIAMS: All right. Rehema Ellis from Boston for us tonight . Rehema , thanks.

updated 4/14/2010 12:29:30 PM ET 2010-04-14T16:29:30

The tea party movement returned Wednesday to the city from which its revolutionary spirit was born, with political conservative Sarah Palin headlining a rally before the activists' cross-country tour ends in Washington on Tax Day.

More than 5,000 people assembled on Boston Common in the morning sunshine, just across town from Boston Harbor, where colonists upset about British taxation without government representation staged the original Tea Party in 1773.

Colonists then were upset about British taxation without government representation. Some 237 years later, their target is the Obama administration, government spending and the recent federal health care overhaul.

A festive mood filled the air. A band played patriotic music, and hawkers sold yellow Gadsden flags emblazoned with the words "Don't Tread on Me" and the image of a rattlesnake.

Some 237 years after the original Tea Party, Palin rallied the tea party movement near its historical roots with a pre-Tax Day message,

Telling Washington politicians that government should be working for the people, not the other way around, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee accused President Barack Obama of overreaching with his $787 billion stimulus program. She also criticized the administration's health care, student loan and financial regulatory overhauls.

"Is this what their 'change' is all about?" Palin asked. "I want to tell 'em, nah, we'll keep clinging to our Constitution and our guns and religion — and you can keep the change."

With husband Todd looking on, she added: "We need to cut taxes, so that our families can keep more of what they earn and produce and our mom-and-pops then, our small businesses, can reinvest according to our own priorities, and hire more people and let the private sector grow and thrive and prosper."

Palin, who served as Alaska's governor for 2 1/2 years, played to the crowd as she trotted out a trademark line while lobbying for more domestic energy production.

"Yeah, let's drill baby drill, not stall baby stall — you betcha," she said.

Also speaking was conservative talk show host Mark Williams. He celebrated the movement's involvement in helping Republican Scott Brown stage a political upset in January by winning the U.S. Senate seat held for nearly a half-century by Democrat Edward M. Kennedy. He said he understood Brown not attending while Congress held hearings about the Iranian nuclear program.

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"That's a heck of a lot more important than him being here right now," Williams told a cheering crowd.

The rally, held across the street from the Massachusetts Statehouse, was the next-to-last event in the 20-day, 47-city Tea Party Express tour concluding Thursday in Washington.

Palin also helped kick off the tour in Searchlight, Nevada, hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democratic target of the movement.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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