Hours after President Donald Trump attacked the Freedom Caucus and several of its members on Twitter, several prominent Ohio conservatives are speaking out in defense of the GOP lawmakers.

Ohio tea party members, state representatives, and other conservative leaders responded to Trump’s tweets with a letter to the White House asking the president to “work with members of the Freedom Caucus, not against them.”

The signers of the letter include Ann Becker, president of the Cincinnati Tea Party. As a Trump supporter, she told The Daily Signal she was “disappointed” when she read the president’s tweets Thursday.

“I want our president to work with the Freedom Caucus, not against them,” Becker said. “The people want a government that is closer to the Constitution, with government out of our lives—that is what the Freedom Caucus is working toward.”

In a morning tweet Thursday, Trump likened the conservative Freedom Caucus to Democrats, saying, “We must fight them.” He later singled out three conservative leaders, Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Raúl Labrador of Idaho.

Becker said she hopes Trump will rethink his criticism after reading the letter from Ohio conservatives.

“This was a bad bill,” Becker said. “It was a blessing that the Freedom Caucus kept it from reaching his desk.”

Voicing her support for the Freedom Caucus, including her congressman, Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio, Becker said, “We need to fully repeal Obamacare and start over with a replacement plan—with the Freedom Caucus in the lead.”

Here is the full text of the letter to Trump along with those who signed it:

Dear Mr. President,

We, the undersigned conservative leaders in the swing state of Ohio, voted for you and worked hard to bring others to the polls to elect you last November. We want to see you succeed in Making America Great Again! We appreciate much of what you have already done in the first few months of your administration.

However, we respectfully ask you to stand with our conservative heroes in the Freedom Caucus, along with other conservatives in the House and Senate. These patriots are working to keep the campaign promises that you — and they — made to us.

Please work with members of the Freedom Caucus, not against them, to ensure you are all successful in keeping your campaign promises and “draining the swamp.” Mr. President, we are praying for your success as you work to rebuild our nation.


Ann Becker, Butler County for Trump co-chair; Cincinnati Tea Party president; GOP State Central Committee member

Tom Zawistowski, “We the People” Convention president; Portage County TEA Party

Janet Folger Porter, Faith2Action president; Trump general election volunteer

State Rep. Candice Keller, Butler County Trump volunteer; Ohio House Dist. 53

State Rep. Nino Vitale, Ohio House Dist. 85 (Champaign, Shelby & Logan Co.)

Kirsten Hill, Ohio Liberty Coalition president

Mike Lyons, Ohio Liberty Coalition board member

State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, Ohio House District 54 (Warren, Hamilton & Butler Co.)

John McAvoy, Toledo Tea Party president

State Rep. John Becker, Ohio House District 65 (Clermont Co.)

Terri Iannetta, Summit County Tea Party president

Jim Green, North Central Ohio Conservatives, Inc. president

Mary Ellen Buechter, Miami County Liberty vice-president

Jim & Jennifer Hiles, Hocking Hill TEA Party Patriots co-founders

Jeff Malek, Medina TEA Party Patriots president

Anne Kaczmarek, Liberty Camp for Kids president

Barbara Burkard, Miami Valley Citizens Info

T.J. Honerlaw, Warren Co. Republican Party Central Committee

Lisa Cooper, Republican State Central Committee, District 26tee vice-chairman; Trump general election volunteer

Lori Viars, Conservative Republican Leadership Committee board member; Trump Campaign general election volunteer; Warren Co. Right To Life vice-president