Leader says tea partiers still not satisfied with 2012 choices

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler told The Daily Caller in an interview Monday that many activists in the conservative grassroots movement still are not satisfied with the Republican choices to run against President Barack Obama.

“Oh no,” said Meckler, the national coordinator for the group. “Absolutely not.”

“Nobody’s thrilled. … I’m not seeing any sort of consensus around any of the candidates because I don’t think anybody’s entirely satisfied,” he said.

But Meckler said he doesn’t think it is necessarily a problem because the extended primary campaign will make each of the Republican contenders stronger candidates.

“I think having the race drawn out like this is a good thing,” he said. “I think that we’re getting a chance to see the candidates hone their message and their delivery.”

Asked to name leaders that tea partiers wished would have run, Meckler mentioned Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Meckler said Tea Party Patriots will not endorse in the race. He also said he doesn’t plan to make a personal endorsement. (RELATED: Full coverage of the tea party movement)

He also dismissed the suggestion that his organization could lose relevance by not endorsing.

“I think you can destroy your relevance by endorsing. I mean because then what happens is you just become part of the political machinery,” he said.

Meckler and fellow Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin are making the rounds promoting their new book, “Tea Party Patriots: the Second American Revolution.”

He said it took about a year to write the book, working “pretty intensively for about five months or so.”

Part of the book includes writing on what Meckler and Martin describe as tea party misconceptions.

“I think the biggest misconception is that we’re somehow tied to the Republican Party,” Meckler said Monday.

Meckler said the Republican candidates for president “shouldn’t” take tea partiers for granted, but “I don’t think they are.”

“If you listen to all the candidates, and I think this is the greatest tea party victory since the inception of the tea party…everybody is talking tea party values,” he said.

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