(CNN) – Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer slammed President Obama Thursday for “playing class warfare” with the “millionaire’s surtax.”
The new tax on those with income over a million dollars a year was introduced by Senate Democrats to pay for the president’s American Jobs Act. The President endorsed the measure at his Thursday news conference.
“There are a number of people that have signed these pledges that they’re not going to raise taxes and they have no hope of getting it through,” Kremer said on CNN’s Newsroom.
She described the push as another stimulus that won’t work and a way to “blame Republicans.”
Instead, Kremer suggested cutting the corporate tax so that businesses can “start to have confidence in the system and go forward and hire people.”
And when it comes to compromise, the tea party leader pushed back at the president’s claim that the GOP has been reluctant to bargain.
“Republicans have put plan after plan out there and the Democrats say no,” she asserted, citing “Cut, Cap and Balance,” and House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul entitlements as evidence.
“It is not Washington’s responsibility to create jobs; it’s the private sector’s responsibility to create jobs, that’s where the jobs come from,” Kremer said.
Looking ahead to 2012, she named businessman Herman Cain as “the one to watch,” though Kremer balked at giving him an out-and-out endorsement.
Her stamp of approval would give any GOP candidate a boost among the sought-after tea party vote.
“Herman Cain is doing a major thing right now,” she said. “He’s got a lot of momentum, a lot of people like him, he’s a straight talker, he’s a businessman and that’s what people like.”
But she also hedged her praise of the conservative radio talk show host who’s been rising in national polls.
“I think that the field is still very volatile,” Kremer said.
But Sal Russo, co-founder of the Tea Party Express, which jointly sponsored a Republican presidential debate with CNN last month, said it’s too early to write Perry off.
Commenting about the Occupy Wall Street protests, Amy said, “OWS (Occupy Wall Street) reminds me of an out-of-control child having a temper tantrum,” Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said. “Stop having a temper tantrum and channel your energy into effecting change.”
“I just don’t see how it goes anywhere,” said Sal Russo, strategist with the Tea Party Express, suggesting the (OWS) demonstrations have too much of a “Marxist” appeal.
“Most Americans understand that to have an employee, you have to have an employer,” Russo said.
Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo, however, offered a more nuanced assessment of the protesters.
The tea party movement, according to Russo, can trace its roots to the Ross Perot campaign of the early 1990s, which he said contained “a strong dose of opposition to crony capitalism.”
“I think you find that the left and the right come together on that, kind of for different reasons, but come to the same conclusion that government ought not to be picking winners and losers,” Russo told TheDC.
Russo couldn’t recall any confrontations between tea party supporters and the police, nevermind on a scale similar to Saturday’s march over the Brooklyn Bridge, where 700 demonstrators were arrested.
There have been 301 Tea Party Express-sponsored rallies, Russo said. The only police encounter of note was when a college student in Boston attempted to pelt Sarah Palin with eggs. “I chose not to press charges, he was just a college kid who did a stupid thing and I didn’t want to burden him with a jail record,” Russo said.