#FreePac : Talking To Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks About The Teaparty

July 26, 2012 / 4:34 pm • By Dr. Melissa Clouthier

At #FreePac, the inaugural educational, inspirational event sponsored by Glenn Beck and Freedomworks, FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe joined me to answer a couple questions.

It seems like FreedomWorks mission has shifted. What are you guys doing?

It’s a real shift away from coming up with an idea and just emailing it out to people and saying hey let’s do this. Now, it’s more driven from the bottom up and asking people, ‘what do you guys need to do to take the next step’.

It’s not a protest movement anymore. It’s not a get out the vote movement. It’s evolving into a real social movement.

That’s what different. This is more an institution building exercise.

It’s part community. It’s part values. And it’s part celebrating some of the elected officials that have actually stuck by their principles–guys we helped get elected in 2010.

Why are you harassing Dewhurst? [The Texas Republican in the runoff with grassroots candidate former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz]

In Texas, pretty good is not good enough. We are going need a deeper commitment to principle. Just voting right 70 or 80% of the time is not good enough.

We keep hearing that the Tea Party is dead. Is it?

A lot of it is wishful thinking. Bu I also think a lot of it is a little honest confusion about who we are today. We’re not a protest movement anymore, so if you’re looking for a big march on The Mall, you’re not going to find it. How do you report community by community, household by household, walking precincts for Ted Cruz? We won’t know until after the election.

They were shocked by Indiana. And they’re like that’s a one-time deal. Now they’re saying, ‘Of course Ted Cruz is going to win.’ Well, go back and read the record, nobody, …they were laughing at us.

How do you feel about the Teaparty guys who got elected in 2010? Some folks are disappointed in their performance.

I think that as a class they’ve outperformed any significant Freshman class, certainly the Class of 1995 which pretty quickly crumbled.

And this is what people need to understand, it’s not just about electing better people with better principles, it’s about creating a constituency who creates better incentives for them to do the right thing, because once you get into the Washington Bubble, all the incentives are wrong. Everybody comes to your office–they want an earmark, they want this, they want that…if we who believe in freedom don’t continue to show up and support them when they do the right thing, guess what? They’re going to change. So the burden is on us.

Don’t expect your Senator to do the right thing left to his own devices.

Is this the beginning of new events for FreedomWorks?

Yes. This an experiment but the key is to figure out how we can create institutions to bring people together. Can we do this on a regional basis, because Glenn [Beck] wants to do this on a regional basis, but you have got to find a way to do it that’s economical because the American Airlines Center is expensive.