Rick Santelli has been called ‘the Father of the Tea Party’ because of his 5 minute rant on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Before that, most people couldn’t begin to tell you who Rick Santelli is/was.
According to the Huffington Post:
People ask me if I’m the father of the Tea Party movement…I was the spark …that started it. If being the lightning rod that started the Tea Party is what’s written on my tombstone, I’ll be very happy.”
Santelli was catapulted to instant fame after his five-minute outburst on CNBC in Feb. 2009–where he decried government bailouts, called struggling homeowners “losers” and speculated aloud that a new Tea Party might be needed–went viral.
In the Sun-Times interview, Santelli called the rant “the best five minutes of my life,” but said he has not tried to influence the direction of the Tea Party in any way. He did call the rise of the movement “a proud moment for America.”
He also said that Franklin and Jefferson would be rolling over in their graves. Perhaps he should read a little history of Jefferson. Jefferson was not the most financially responsible person. His personal library had to be sold to pay his debts. Its a lot easier to say platitudes.