Columbia TEA Party leader Allen Olsen learned this afternoon that Donald Trump is not running for president and not coming to his party’s Statehouse meeting, scheduled for Thursday.
Olsen says, “At least, they could have called me instead of a reporter. I was standing with egg on my face in front of a reporter.”
Olsen says the celebrity billionaire should have come to Columbia anyway:
I would have just liked to hear him come down here and then drive the debate, the presidential debate. I can care less whether he runs or not. I just want to hear it from him and help drive the debate, so to speak, a lot of candidates talking about stuff that they normally wouldn’t be talking about.
Scott Royce, the organizer of South Carolina’s “Draft Trump” effort, says the billionaire businessman was his idea of the citizen statesman. He says the current candidates are career politicians and that idea is “making the founding fathers roll over in their graves.”
The TEA Party moved a meeting to the Statehouse grounds to accommodate the crowd that Trump might bring. He says they plan to stay there for now :” Gov. Haley’s going to be there, plus some others are going to be accepting some awards that we’ve got for them, that we’re going to be presenting. As of right now, we’re still at the Statehouse.”
The Columbia Tea Party has already hosted and appearance by Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann. Olsen says his group offers candidates a chance to talk to the average voter:
Too often all we hear, a lot of these candidates come through and they go to these Republican events or these Democrat events and they don’t come to the average people and the average independent voters. That’s where we’d like to see them. We in Columbia Tea Party, we don’t go out and invite people but we’re open for them to come and ask for a platform. Anyone who wants to come and asks for a platform, we’re more than happy to give it to them.