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Earlier today Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer appeared on Fox News. (Off topic: what’s with Uma’s teeth?)
This resulted in the following post at Hot Air:
Alternate headline: “Trump’s third-party candidacy off to a wobbly start.” Nothing really surprising here, but worth posting for a few reasons. One: Kremer herself was famously grim about Romney’s chances with tea partiers when interviewed by David Brody last winter. That’s not inconsistent with what she says here — beating Obama is top priority, natch — but if Mitt emerges from the field, the media will pounce with endless “can the base support him?” storylines. Kremer’s anticipating that and trying to snuff them before they catch fire. Two: At least one tea-party group, FreedomWorks, is already following a “stop Romney” strategy in the primaries. How aggressive can they be with that (attack ads, media appearances, etc) without raising grassroots ire towards Mitt to the point where some base voters will stay home regardless of the “beat Obama” imperative? Granted, McCain was loathed by the base too and they still showed up, but there was no organized “stop McCain” movement in the primaries (thanks in part to conservative worries about Romney and Huckabee) and no tea party around to worry about compromising its principles.
Third, purely hypothetically: What happens if Romney’s nominated and an attractive “true conservative” candidate decides to run third party anyway? The odds are slimmer than slim, but even Palin wouldn’t give a flat “no” when asked about that the other night on Hannity. She’s not going to run third party, of course — she’s young enough that even if she ran and didn’t win the nomination this time, she wouldn’t want to burn party bridges ahead of another run later — but what about, say, Ron Paul (or Rand Paul)? The depths of conservative disgust towards RomneyCare and Mitt’s other heresies are such that it’s not crazy to think some prominent righty might find nominating him unconscionable and feel obliged to run. What do FreedomWorks and TPE do then — come out strong for Romney anyway, or sit the general election out, or what?
Amy has sent out the following letter clarifying her position.
I am sorry for the confusion over my comments, which have been now taken totally out of context.
Last election cycle, Tea Party Express took on the establishment and worked hard to send true conservatives to Washington. We challenged the Republican party time and time again because we stood on principles and did not waiver. We were not willing to accept any RINO or Obama-lite. We were no longer going to accept what the Republican party was trying to shove down our throats, even supporting Doug Hoffman in the New York special against the liberal Republican. That will not change. No tea party group has taken on the Republican establishment more than we have, and that will not change. We are totally committed to tea party principles of smaller government, less taxes, an end to deficit spending and free markets.
My point was in the interview that the “cream will rise to the top,” meaning that a true conservative will gain our support and we will work to defeat Obama. I believe in this movement and the people of this movement. I feel sure that once again, the tea party movement will work hard to send true conservatives to Washington, just like we did in 2010. I don’t believe a Republican can win without the strong support for the tea party movement. So when I say that we will support the nominee, I mean that we will support the nominee because he or she has won tea party support. I didn’t mean we will accept whatever is thrown our way.
In 2012, we have to defeat Barack Obama. This country will not survive another four years of his big government, socialist policies. Look at what has happened in only 2.5 years when Obama knows he has a reelection in 2012. Can you imagine another 4 years of him when there will be no reelection and has nothing to lose? He is the worst President that this country has ever had. We must remove him from the White House in 2012. We are now stuck with Kagan and Sotomayer. If Obama wins and appoints more justices, we will have no chance of turning back the march to socialism.
By the time that we have a nominee, I think the movement will have already spoken loud and clear and the nominee will have received the nomination with the support of the movement. If the nominee does not have the support of the movement, they cannot win the election. I have said that for months and months now and I firmly believe that.
Last election cycle, TPX was kicked and abused because we got involved in the primaries. We were told we needed to stay out of the primaries because it was the politically incorrect thing to do. We jumped in anyway and will be doing the same after the debate in September. We will be supporting the best constitutional conservative in the field.
The bottom line is this…you need to fight like a dog now in order to impact who the Republican nominee will be. The Tea Party Express national bus tour starts on August 20th and we have invited the candidates for president to give us their best shot on how to restore America to strength and prosperity. It culminates in the Tea Party presidential debate on September 12th in Tampa, Florida. I believe this process will start to unify the tea party around the strongest conservative candidates.
Also, for those that are busy attacking me, I hope you are already volunteering for your candidate that you want to support. If not, you are part of the problem.
What have you done for your conservative candidate today?
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