- Atheists win prayer battle against California city council
- Americans for Prosperity ad attacks N.H. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s Obamacare vote
- Senate races are close in Southern states, poll shows
- Texas A&M kicks off FAA-backed drone tests for business ventures
- Bad loser: ‘Call of Duty’ gamer calls in SWAT team on teen who won
- Sen. Rand Paul: Limited Washington experience isn’t always bad
- Ben Sasse scores Sen. Ted Cruz’s endorsement for Nebraska Senate primary
- Beer-flavored lollipops make debut: ‘An All-American slam-dunk’
- Gabby Giffords’ gun control push gets high-profile speaker: Bill Clinton
- Tony Blair to warn West: Take sides against radical Islam
Finally, Romney gets tea party support
FreedomWorks drops opposition
The organization that ignited the tea party as a national mass movement gave Mitt Romney perhaps his biggest victory yet, deciding to drop its opposition to his candidacy, a top executive in the group told The Washington Times.
FreedomWorks, which organized the Sept. 12, 2009, mass demonstration on the Mall, says that while it will not give an explicit endorsement, the time has come for Republicans to unite around the former Massachusetts governor and focus on defeating President Obama.
“It is a statistical fact that the numbers favor Mitt Romney,” FreedomWorks Vice President Russ Walker told The Times on Tuesday. “We are dedicated to defeating Obama and electing a conservative Senate that will help Romney repeal Obamacare and address the nation’s economic and spending challenges.”
Exit polls in Illinois showed Mr. Romney won among those who said they support the tea party movement, edging out Mr. Santorum 43 percent to 37 percent [-] the same margin as Mr. Romney won those who were neutral on the tea party.
The Illinois results marked an improvement for Mr. Romney. In Ohio, Mr. Santorum had won tea party supporters, and the two men had essentially tied among tea partyers in Michigan. In each of those states, somewhere between 52 percent and 59 percent of primary voters said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” support the movement.
None of the four candidates remaining in the 2012 Republican nomination battle started out on FreedomWorks’ most-wanted list, and Mr. Walker’s organization, which had tried to derail Mr. Romney’s nomination effort, isn’t telling any tea partyer explicitly to vote for any candidate in particular.
The tea party is a “leaderless movement, so it will be up to individuals to decide when and where they put their support,” Mr. Walker said.
The former congressman from Texas, who is FreedomWorks’ chairman, had a list of names that could excite his organization, but none decided to join the fray.
“As long as a year ago Dick Armey privately and publicly encouraged [Indiana Rep.] Mike Pence, [South Carolina Sen.] Jim DeMint, [Wisconsin Rep.] Paul Ryan and [Indiana Gov.] Mitch Daniels to run for the presidential nomination,” Mr. Walker said. “We take direction from our members who early in the primary asked us to not to back any one candidate.”
For example, FreedomWorks organized a protest in August among its grass-roots members against Mr. Romney’s addressing a Tea Party Express rally in New Hampshire. He also alienated FreedomWorks by, among other things, supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program during the Bush administration.
The change also reflects the desire of local FreedomWorks chapters to refocus the nomination contest on economic issues such as jobs, gasoline prices, spending, debt and the federal budget deficit. Some key Illinois conservatives also see Mr. Santorum’s focus on social issues such as homosexuality and religious objections to contraception as a distraction.
“Santorum has spent a great deal of time here talking about social issues,” said Demetra DeMonte, the national secretary of Republican National Committee and a member from Illinois. “This would explain Romney’s performance among tea parties today in Illinois.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- As Main Street deepens schism in GOP, conservative war against compromise heads to Amelia
- Rand Paul experiences first speed bumps as 2016 front-runner
- Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad may replace Iowa straw poll with regional festivals
- DeLay: GOP failing to fight criminalization of politics
- Question for CPAC-goers: Is Congress relevant anymore?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Ministry of Truth: SCOTUS skeptical of law to police campaign 'lies'
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- EDITORIAL: Voting with one's feet shows folly of liberal economic policies
- EDITORIAL: Court strikes blow for campus colorblindness on affirmative action
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014