Tea party will ‘absolutely’ back Romney in general election, says movement leader

Hasn’t the tea party become irrelevant? They don’t seem to be a very powerful force in the presidential primary.

To the contrary, the tea party’s grassroots get-out-the-vote activities will be the deciding force of the 2012 presidential election.

There are over 3,000 local tea parties around the country, and new tea parties are forming every day. The number of Americans who support the tea party movement — 66 million — is slightly higher than it was two years ago.

We’ve just changed our tactics. Instead of holding high-profile rallies, we’re focused on the nuts and bolts of building local get-out-the-vote organizations.

As to the presidential primary, you have to remember that it takes time to develop a presidential candidate. Three years is not a lot of time. Now that Mitt Romney has virtually locked up the Republican nomination, our role is to encourage him to align more closely with our three core values and to lead the ground game to get him elected.

Since the tea party-driven electoral successes of 2010, the Obama administration and the mainstream media have put out an avalanche of blatantly false anti-tea party stories. Every time the Obama administration references the tea party, they attach the phony “extremist” label and the mainstream media runs with it. They ascribe to us views on social issues we don’t have, and then don’t report the simple fact that our three core values have nothing to do with social values.

The real extremism in America today is the financially reckless extremism of the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress.

So when you see the predictable stories in the mainstream media that the tea party is “losing steam,” remember that it’s all part of an effort to marginalize and discourage us. But we’re on to their game, and it’s not working.

Do you think there was tea party overreach during the 2010 midterms with supporting candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle? Many people think the GOP lost several potential Senate seats because the tea party got behind poor and what you might nicely call “eccentric” candidates.

The principle should always be to vote for the candidate who most closely aligns with the tea party’s three core values in the primary, then do the same thing in the general election.

Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell were the candidates in the Republican primaries in Nevada and Delaware respectively, whose policies were most closely aligned with the tea party’s values, so it was good that they won the primaries.

Remember, we’re the tea party, not the GOP. So far, Establishment GOP control of the House of Representatives hasn’t resulted in the accomplishment of tea party objectives, and Establishment GOP control of the Senate in this Congress wouldn’t have been any different, in my opinion. Establishment Republicans are not nearly as bad as the Democrats, but they’re not constitutional conservatives in the sense that we are.

Look at the record of the GOP in the House of Representatives since it took control after the 2010 elections.

Spending in FY 2011 actually increased under their watch. And they couldn’t even repeal the ridiculous light bulb ban. The House GOP leadership managed legislative priorities so poorly, they got caught up in the entirely avoidable “threat of government shutdown” fiasco.