Politics
PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 12:  Former House Majority Leader and FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, (C) and FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe, (R) at a Tea Party "Get Out The Vote" rally for Pat Toomey at SmokeEaters Pub in Philadelphia on October 12, 2010. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 12: Former House Majority Leader and FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, (C) and FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe, (R) at a Tea Party "Get Out The Vote" rally for Pat Toomey at SmokeEaters Pub in Philadelphia on October 12, 2010. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)  

FreedomWorks: Tea Party may stay home if Romney nominated

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

If Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination for president, Tea Party activists may not show up at all to vote in the general election, one leading group associated with the Tea Party movement is warning.

“I think that’s a potential problem,” said Matt Kibbe, FreedomWorks’ president, during a wide-ranging interview with reporters at The Daily Caller.

He also warned that if Republicans nominate another “John McCain,” activists might even vote third party in 2012.

“I believe in redemption, but at some point, you sort of give up,” he said. “And we’ve given up on Mitt Romney.”

(California GOP gives obvious nod to Tea Party in new video)

Tea Party-types have expressed their distaste for Romney, who they say heralded a health-care law in his home state of Massachusetts very similar to the one pushed by President Obama. Joe Miller, a former U.S. Senate candidate in Alaska, is now running a “Stop Romney” campaign, for example.

Adam Brandon, another staffer at FreedomWorks, said he also worries that if voters don’t show up to vote because of Romney, it could hurt other candidates down the ticket that they like.

“We’ve got so many great House candidates we got to defend,” he said. “So many great Senate candidates we go to win.”

Kibbe suggested that after several rounds of primaries and an alternative to Romney emerges, Tea Partiers will coalesce around that candidate.

Asked about other candidates, Kibbe said: “I like Sarah Palin. I like what she stands for. She’s authentic. And she does have juice with the grassroots.”

(ABC News calls Palin a ‘sideshow candidate’)

But he added: “I think she needs to prove that she can study up, consistently build a campaign machine. She’s got to pass the same tests as everybody else. I think those are open question marks.”

One 2012 candidate who can boast of Tea Party support is former Godfathers Pizza CEO Herman Cain. But asked if Cain will see problems because of his support for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) legislation, he said: “Possibly because his brand is the pure principle guy.

TARP called for the government in 2008 to purchase $700 billion in assets from troubled financial institutions — legislation that is often referred to as the impetus for the modern day Tea Party movement.

“I think it hurts him more than it might hurt somebody else because that’s his niche in a very crowded market,” Kibbe said.

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  • bandit84

    Question: how many of you people look up to Reagan, and wish we had somebody like him?

    Reagan had his own faults,but was a good President and a good man. Reagan said, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.”

    Any of the current candidates for President stand miles above the current occupant of the White House, and would all make great Presidents.

  • bandit84

    FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots have lost my support. Whether I vote for Romney in the primaries or not, if he is the nominee of the party, I WILL VOTE FOR HIM. If I follow what these groups are saying they will do, President Obama will be re-elected. You can take that to the bank. It won’t be my fault . . . it will be the fault of these groups and the people who blindly follow them.

  • MyChalkLine

    There is ZERO chance i will be voting for Romney!

    You can criticize my decision all you like but i simply won’t choose between the lesser of two evils again that ended with my vote for McCain.

    Romney believe it’s a states right to mandate purchase of healthcare, I seem to remember the article of the constitution he cites actually reserves this right to “THE PEOPLE” that is of course if you actually believe the constitution DOES LIMIT THE POWER OF GOVERNMENT AGAINST THE CITIZENS AND NOT JUST THE FED GOV. AGAINST THE STATE GOV., Under Romneys’ idiocy where exactly does he recognize PERSONAL rights granted by God?

    Put simply neither the Fed nor the State have the right to force the purchase of Healthcare Insurance!

    Do you think you have the right to refuse medical care at all? If so, why would the state as opposed to the Fed be permitted to mandate you buy insurance for it?

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