Continued from page 1

Mr. Viguerie also said that Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, Neil Newhouse and Stuart Stevens “would never be hired to run or consult on a national campaign again, and no one would give a dime to their ineffective super PACs, such as American Crossroads.”

Mitt Romney’s loss was the death rattle of the establishment Republican Party,” Mr. Viguerie said. “Far from signaling a rejection of the tea party or grass-roots conservatives, the disaster of 2012 signals the beginning of the battle to take over the Republican Party and the opportunity to establish the party as small government, constitutional conservatism.”

Romney and tea party

Mr. Romney reached out to tea party types at different points of the campaign with mixed results.

Fueled by their desire to oust Mr. Obama, many tea party activists eventually fell in line behind Mr. Romney. Judson Phillips, the vocal leader of Tea Party Nation, endorsed the GOP ticket, and Amy Kremer, the leader of Tea Party Express, blasted out an email before the election saying the “tea party movement is working tirelessly today to get-out-the-vote for Governor Romney and other conservative candidates.”

Along the way, some of the movement’s biggest political stars — Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah — lined up behind the former Massachusetts governor. So did Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa, who vouched for Mr. Romney on the campaign trail.

Mr. King told the Times on Wednesday that he is “reluctant to Monday morning quarterback” the Romney camp — though he did suggest that perhaps the campaign miscalculated by holding the tea party movement at arm’s length out of concern the Democrats would use the group against the nominee.

“How would I run this race if it were me instead of Mitt Romney?” he said. “There is no doubt my language would have been sharper, I would have draw sharper lines of distinctions and taken it to the president in a more direct way. But each of us have our own style and I didn’t criticize Mitt Romney before, so I don’t feel the need to criticize him today.”