Obama Takes Care in Sizing Up the Tea Party

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For the first time President Barack Obama has publicly criticized the Tea Party movement.

In an interview this week he described the core of the group as being "on the fringe."

However, he also acknowledged some may have legitimate concerns about federal reach, spending and the national debt.

"I wouldn't paint in broad brush and say that everybody who is involved or have gone to a Tea Party rally or meeting are somehow on the fringe," Obama said.

"I think that there's a broader circle around that core group of people who are legitimately concerned about the deficit, who are legitimately concerned that the federal government may be taking on too much," the president said.

Obama went on to express the hope that as his administration tackles "things like the deficit, imposing a freeze on domestic spending, taking steps that show we are sincere about dealing with our long-term problems, that some of that group will dissipate."

Meanwhile, hundreds of Tea Party supporters gathered in Denver on Wednesday at the state capital.

The peaceful rally protested government spending, growth and the loss of personal and financial freedoms.

"It's not about Democrat or Republican for me," one protestor said. "It's about the U.S. Constitution and it's about people's voices being heard."

A big Tea Party rally is planned for Washington, D.C. on April 15, Tax Day.

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