- (Photo: The Christian Post)
Within minutes after the U.S. Supreme Court released its ruling upholding the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Tea Party leaders were announcing an all-out effort to reinvigorate their troops to elect a president and Congress members who promise to repeal the controversial health care law.
"The Supreme Court ruled against the American people today," Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, told The Christian Post.
"The American people overwhelming oppose Obamacare. Now more than ever it is time for the American people to band together and take our government back. Americans agree with what Justice Kennedy said in the dissenting opinion that 'the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.'"
Yet Martin and other Tea Party leaders are also firing shots over the bow of the Republican fleet as a warning that even incumbents or candidates running under a conservative banner would be ousted unless they pledge to repeal the controversial healthcare program.
"Mr. Romney, Mr. Boehner: the American people are putting you on notice. You both promised to fully repeal Obamacare. We will hold you to your promises. We are putting all politicians on notice that we will not rest until this law is overturned in its entirety."
The Romney campaign wasted little time in responding to the ruling, with the presumed GOP candidate promising to suspend Obamacare on his first day in office.
"What the court did not do on its last day in session I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare," Romney said in a statement Thursday. "Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today."
Democrats, realizing that the Tea Party will attempt to make the ruling a primary focus in the fall elections, began putting a fundraising plan in place weeks before Thursday's announcement in order to fight the onslaught of anti-Obama and anti-Democrat ads that will likely come after today's decision.
In an email Wednesday, former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy forewarned that if the high court voted to let the healthcare act stand – which it did on Thursday – then "dangerous Tea Party extremists will go on a rampage" and that Republicans "backed by super PAC's and shadowy front groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS" will "do everything in their power to defeat President Obama."
But Martin countered Kennedy's comments by saying it's not just Tea Party members who are incited by the court's ruling, but also the American people.
"What will happen – what is already happening – as a result of today's ruling is the American people will sit up and take notice that we cannot simply sit back and watch our individual freedoms be swept away by an administration that does not respect our constitution," Martin said.
"The Tea Party started because we want limited government and individual freedoms. And we will vote out any politician who does not commit, in writing, to respect the will of the American people and fully repeal Obamacare."