The Rant That Launched the Tea Party Still Resonates 5 Years Later
"How many of you people want to pay for their neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? Raise their hand," CNBC editor Rick Santelli called out, adding: "President Obama, are you listening?"
Called the "rant used 'round the world," those were the words on Feb. 19, 2009 began to galvanize the Tea Party into being.
Frustrated by Obama's economic policy, Santelli called on citizens to voice their concerns. His passionate free-market rant spoke to many Americans who were equally distressed about the direction of the nation.
"We're thinking about having a Chicago Tea Party in July. All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I'm going to start organizing," Santelli declared as cheers and whistles erupted behind him.
Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor on "Squawk Box" that day, jokingly congratulated Santelli on his "new incarnation as a revolutionary leader." Little did he know that his words would end up being prophetic.
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