Boehner Declined to Attend Tea Party Anti-Tax-Increase Event

By Penny Starr | December 12, 2012 | 4:49 PM EST

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is surrounded by some 160,000 petitions from Americans asking Congress not to raise taxes as he spoke at a press conference on Dec. 12, 2012. ( Starr)

( – During a press conference to unveil some 160,000 individual petitions asking Congress not to raise taxes on any Americans, organizers were asked if House Speaker John Boehner was invited to attend.

“Speaker Boehner was invited. Other members of leadership were invited,” said Dustin Stockton, chief strategist with, the group that organized the petition drive. “We would have loved to have them there. Our team did meet privately with them while we were in town.”

“But then he didn’t want to attend this?” asked.

“No,” Stockton said.

The press conference was attended by several members of Congress who are supported by the Tea Party, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and John Fleming (R-La.) – all of whom said they would stick by their pledge not raise taxes.

“Some have said, ‘Oh this, you know, this whole idea of pledging not to raise taxes is a bad idea.’” Paul said. “I disagree.

“I ran on that platform, and I was elected, because the voters of Kentucky want less spending, limited government and less taxation,” Paul said.

When reporters asked if any members of Congress would nominate someone other than Boehner for the speakership when the 113th Congress is gaveled into session, no commitments were made.

“You have to take elections as they come,” said Gohmert, who nominated former Speaker Newt Gingrich in the lame duck session. “I mean, we’ll see where we are in January.

“This is a time for leadership,” Gohmert said.

The petitions – gathered in the last two weeks – are being delivered to Congress.

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