On the online “Green Room” segment of Sunday’s “This Week” on ABC, conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham speculated that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s strength in the contest is a sign that the tea party might not be as strong as conventional wisdom suggests.
“They don’t have the power that they thought they had, perhaps,” Ingraham said. “I mean, Romney is not a tea party candidate, and they’re talking about 27 percent of the Republican Party that still believe it’s tea party infused. The tea party, they have a lot of energy but you know … more of a moderate view of conservatism seems to get nominated every time. And that’s just a fact. The tea party doesn’t have the great strength that the old media believe.”
Washington Post columnist George Will didn’t completely agree that the tea party has lost it’s strength. He suggested that Romney should pick a tea party running mate, and said the grassroots should focus on winning in the Senate until they have stronger national candidates.
“It’s too soon to say that,” Will said. “If the tea party withdraws its enthusiasm and says we’re going to concentrate on carrying the Senate and fight again when our bench is stronger in 2016 … I think [Romney’s] going to want a running mate who can connect with the people he can’t, and that is the Republican base.”
Will said that it might take someone like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to be Romney’s tea party ticket connection.
“In 2010, the Republican Party got 63 percent of the votes of whites without college educations,” Will continued. “That is the Republican base and that is exactly the base he can’t connect with. This is the case for Chris Christie.”