WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden disagrees that the tea party is a racist group, though he believes that some of those involved in the movement have expressed racist views. “Very conservative, very different views on government and a whole lot of things,” Biden said during an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “But it is not a racist organization.” President Barack Obama doesn’t think so, either, Biden said. A resolution last week calling on tea party activists and others to “repudiate the racist element and activities” within the political movement was approved by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Tea party organizers say racism does not have any place in their activities. Critics have pointed to signs and other actions at tea party gatherings as evidence of racist elements. In defending the National Tea Party Federation, spokesman David Webb said Sunday the coalition of local and regional tea party groups has expelled the Tea Party Express from its ranks for refusing to remove its spokesman, conservative talk radio host Mark Williams, after he posted a blog that satirized the NAACP and referred to its president, Benjamin Jealous, as “Tom’s nephew and NAACP head colored person.” The blog post was “clearly offensive,” Webb said. “Self-policing is the right and the responsibility of any movement or organization,” Webb said on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “I denounce any acts that I see many leaders do.”