On January 27, Phillips registered his support for a lawsuit in state administrative court in Georgia which claims that President Obama is not a natural born citizen and therefore not eligible to be on the March 6, 2012 Democratic primary ballot in the state. According to state law, Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi was required to gather the evidence in the case through hearings and then issue a recommendation. Despite the claims of many birthers about the importance of the case, the official decision on whether Obama will be listed on the ballot will not be determined by Judge Malihi. Instead, the final decision will be made by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
In a post to the Tea Party Nation website, Phillips fantasized about the case potentially having a ripple effect across the South, “If Obama is excluded from the ballot in Georgia, it will be amazing news, though it may not affect the election outcome. Georgia is a red state that Obama was not counting on winning. However, once the Georgia case is decided, similar challenges should be launched in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. These are must win states for Obama. If he were excluded from one or more of these states, it would become almost impossible for Obama to win reelection.”
Promoting these sorts of racist birther conspiracies is nothing new for Phillips. He officially declared himself a birther back in November 2010. Since launching Tea Party Nation, Phillips has embraced a more explicit expression of white nationalism. He has been widely criticized for his proposal to deny voting rights for those citizens who do not own property and for promoting anti-gay bullying. He is on record defending the now defunct and indefensibly racist National Origins Act of 1924. Tea Party Nation went so far as to assert that “American culture” will soon perish since the “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) population is headed for extinction.”
Also on Friday, Phillips announced that he was travelling to Florida to join the Tea Party Express bus tour, including weekend stops in Jacksonville, Winter Park, West Palm Beach, The Villages, Gainesville, Panama City, and Pensacola. Phillips has become a fixture on the Tea Party Express tours.
Like Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Express has been a vehicle for racism and bigotry. Its past chairman, Mark Williams, referred to President Obama as a Nazi, a half-white racist, a half-black racist and an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare fraud. After similar comments in response to an NAACP resolution during the summer of 2010, Williams was forced to step aside.
Williams was replaced by Tea Party Express Director of Grassroots & Coalitions, Amy Kremer. Like Williams and Phillips, Kremer is a birther. Her blog, “Southern Belle Politics,” is filled with smears against the president, including repetition of the (false) charge that he is not a natural born American. She also went out of her way to defend a Florida Tea Partier after he sent out racist emails depicting president Obama as a witch doctor.