Tea Partiers say Perry, Bachmann excite them

Move over, Sarah Palin. Tea Partiers have their eyes on Rick and Michele for 2012.

In interviews with The Daily Caller at a Tea Party gathering Monday, many activists admitted that they don’t believe Palin is running and that they think Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are generating the most excitement in the Republican presidential field.

“He has no experience in Washington and isn’t contaminated by that,” said Jebb Young, an activist wearing a Rick Perry 2012 button, of the Texas governor.

JoeRae Perkins of Oregon said she’s behind Bachmann because she’s an “everyday, ordinary American” who knows “what its like to raise a family.”

But a large contingent of activists interviewed also say they haven’t made up their mind about who to support in the 2012 presidential election.

We do know, however, that Tea Partiers also like Herman Cain and Ron Paul, and that they don’t like Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. (Tea Partiers storm NRSC offices)

This was all on display at a press conference Monday at the Washington-based FreedomWorks when a reporter asked the 60 or so Tea Partiers there to express their 2012 preferences.

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, and Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota congresswoman who officially launched her campaign today, got the most applause when activists were asked if they supported either.

“I think everybody wants somebody who is plain-talking and focused on the problems,” said Alan Guillaudeu, a businessman from Texas.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, on the other hand, had dismal support.

“She’s not running,” yelled out one activist.

Both businessman Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were applauded and had sizeable support, but not quite as much as Perry or Bachmann. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was booed. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was booed. And so was Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker.

What about former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum? Both got scattered applause and variations of people suggesting both are nice but not their top pick for president. (FreedomWorks forming rival debt commission to Obama’s group)

Palin, however, did have several supporters who wish she’d get in.

“My person’s not in the race,” said Darcy Kahrhoff of Texas, who said she’d support Palin because “she’s independent.”