Tuesday’s remarks by new Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Mike Shields seen as critical of conservative grassroots activists have not been well received by either the icons of the conservative movement or local grassroots leaders.

Despite efforts by RNC spokesperson Sean Spicer to walk those comments back, local conservative grassroots leaders–almost all of whom have been working hard for over four years with no compensation–remain unimpressed.

Ben Cunningham, founder of the Nashville Tea Party and one of the leaders of the decade earlier Tennessee Tax Revolt, told Breitbart News that “we are not about to be led by a bunch of timid Washington, D.C. Brahmins who are interested in making a buck off of people they see as naive. Either join us in the fight or get the hell out of the way.”

Cunningham added that “the problem for Washington, D.C.-based Republican consultants is they have become almost completely detached from the passion and purpose of the grassroots. To the grassroots Tea Party activist,” Cunningham continued, “the future of the country is at stake and they immediately distrust ‘consultants’ who feel uneasy about manifesting their passion and fighting for the cause. Tea Party activists have been demonized and vilified and called every name in the book by liberals for four years and it has only made us stronger and more determined than ever.”

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