Tea Party forms new group to hit back at critics

The Tea Party is preparing to push back against its media critics.

The conservative grassroots movement announced the formation of the National Tea Party Federation Thursday in Minnesota.

"The Federation will allow us to work together, pool resources and allow faster responses to the media spin," Judson Phillips, who heads the Tennessee-based group Tea Party Nation, said in a statement. "There are other benefits from this federation for those involved in the tea party movement and we will be announcing them soon."

Phillips said it took the Tea Party too long to respond to the recent accusations of "racism" and "violence" against the group. "We will see it again and next time the National Tea Party Federation will respond in a timely fashion," he said.

Phillips insisted the new group wasn't a move toward forming a third party.

The new group will "build the brand equity of the Tea Party movement at the local and regional level," Phillips said.

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