Thousands of concerned Americans gathered on the Capitol lawn Wednesday to protest the IRS's targeting of conservative organizations. It was all part of the "Audit the IRS" rally, organized by the Tea Party Patriots organization, where attendees unleashed their outrage at the IRS, the President, the media, and others they found complicit in the scandal. The pending immigration bill and NSA surveillance found their way into the conversation, the latter of which elicited shouts of "Barack O'Nixon" at times.
Notable speakers included Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Mike Lee (R-UT) as well as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Glenn Beck, and members of those groups targeted by the IRS.
One of those targeted was Becky Gerritson, president of the Wetumpka, Alabama, Tea Party, who won the admiration of many with her gripping testimony before a Congressional hearing. She fired up the crowd at today's rally, saying "Liberty is rooted deep in the marrow of the American soul" and called for Congress to "defund the IRS."
Crowd favorite Ted Cruz caused a stir, saying "The New York Times told me the Tea Party was dead. The IRS told me the Tea Party was dead...They were right to be afraid." He also urged individuals citizens who think they've been targeted by the IRS to email his office.
Rand Paul gave brief remarks as well, joking that he'd asked to borrow Harry Reid's cell phone in order to protect himself from NSA surveillance.
As the IRS rally on the West Lawn was taking place, a smaller crowd gathered on the East Lawn to watch Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) press conference denouncing the immigration bill. The Capitol Hill police caused a bit of a stir early on, reportedly trying to prohibit protestors on the West lawn from crossing over. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus made an appearance at the immigration rally, mingling with the crowd and telling them "We appreciate everything you guys are doing."
All in all, it was a day for thousands of Americans to unleash some of their pent-up frustration brewing over IRS targeting, NSA surveillance, and other Obama Administration scandals. Most of them simply said they had come to hold their government accountable.
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