Politics & Government

McConnell: Tea Party movement not racist

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that the Tea Party movement is not a racist organization.

McConnell, R-Louisville, said he agrees with Vice President Joe Biden, who has said President Barack Obama and he do not consider the Tea Party racist.

McConnell, appearing on Mandy Connell's show on Louisville's WHAS-840 AM, elaborated on an answer he recently gave to CNN when asked whether there were racist elements in the Tea Party. The question was prompted by the NAACP's charges about the limited-government movement.

McConnell told CNN he was not going to get into that debate.

He said Monday that his reply to CNN "was probably not my best answer."

"We all know what the Tea Party is all about," McConnell said during the radio show. "It's about Washington out of control. It's about too much spending, too much debt, too many Washington takeovers.

"I think that's wonderful. I think it's great that it's grown. It's a purely organic organization. I am always amused by people trying to find a leader. There's no leader. It's everybody expressing their outrage. We share that.

"I think people in the Tea Party know who's been opposing all these things in Washington. It's been Republicans."