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Politics

Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann to Address Tea Party Rally in Tampa Before GOP Convention

August 1, 2012 - 6:00pm

Conservatives heading to Tampa later this month for the Republican National Convention will be able to kick off the week of festivities with an event being held by members of the tea party movement.

Unity Rally 2012 will be held at the River Church in Tampa on Sunday, Aug. 26, the day before the GOP convention kicks off. The event will be streamed online.

Two former presidential candidates who sought the Republican presidential nomination earlier in this election cycle -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and businessman Herman Cain -- are scheduled to address attendees at Unity Rally 2012. Organizers describe the rally as an event for tea party activists and like-minded organizations" looking to rise above our disagreements and rivalries for the good of the movement.

While Cain and Bachmann did well in 2011, both of them faded last fall. Bachmann peaked when she won a straw poll backed by the Iowa GOP last August but flopped badly when Republicans in the Hawkeye State caucused in January. While Cain won the Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando back in September, he wilted as questions arose about his personal life.

Other conservative leaders scheduled to address the event include Niger Innis from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), tea party activists Todd Cefaratti, Judson Phillips and Dustin Stockton, and Tampa pastor Rodney Howard-Browne.

The event is being sponsored by 25 organizations including NewsMax, Tea Party Nation and the Save America Foundation. Other sponsors include tea party groups from across the nation and a PAC affiliated with Cain.

Mark Block, Cains chief of staff, weighed in on the event earlier this week and insisted that tea party groups were united as the 2012 general elections approach.

The American people are fiercely rising up to defend the principles that made our nation great, and are peacefully revolting against the government incompetence of recent years, Block insisted in an email to supporters. When we turn on the news, all we hear about is division and how "polarized" we are, whatever the heck that means.

Traveling across the nation with Mr. Cain is giving me a far different story than the one I'm hearing in the mainstream media, Block continued. The American people are unifying behind ideas like competence, self-reliance and independence. It isn't about Republicans versus Democrats. It's We The People versus the incompetent political class! The table was set in 2010 with dramatic upset of long-serving politicians in both parties, and with our message of unity, 2012 is going to be even better!

It will prove to be a crowded day for political events in the Tampa Bay area as supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, are also holding rallies that Sunday. One of the Paul events is backed by the congressman himself, while the other rally is being held by his supporters but is not authorized by the candidate or his campaign.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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