Tea Party: Anybody But Romney
Tea party supporters prefer anybody over Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee, according to The Miami Herald.
This was the general consensus at the Florida Tea Party Convention Saturday in Daytona Beach where attendees said the party establishment has been pushing the former Massachusetts governor on them since the very beginning.
"The party establishment has wanted Romney all along, and they've been pushing him on us," James Koll of Fort Dodge, Iowa, said. He went on to say that he would throw his support behind a third-party or write in candidate before voting for Romney.
Koll doesn't stand alone in his disapproval of Romney.
“Romney’s so wishy-washy. He’s on both sides of all these issues, and you never know where he really stands,” said retiree Robert Gottschalk of The Villages, who said he might write in the name of a “real conservative” rather than vote for Romney.
Despite national polling numbers placing Romney as the front-runner and sexual harassment allegations against GOP candidate Herman Cain, in more than two dozen interviews with tea party activists at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach Saturday, there was overwhelming consensus: Herman Cain is the preferred candidate, though Newt Gingrich also is growing on them.
“I have yet to meet a committed Romney supporter. I don’t know why people are trying to make him the inevitable nominee, when he’s not,’’ said Kelly Staples, a tea party activist from Jupiter. “I think you will see an anybody-but-Romney candidate win, and unless there’s a bombshell that comes out with these Cain allegations, I think it will probably be him. I think it could also be Newt Gingrich.”
However, if the decision came down to Romney or Obama, some tea partyers said they would suck it up and vote for Romney.
“Barack Obama is a huge galvanizing force,” said Hernando County Republican Chairman Blaise Ingoglia, who was on hand to give a “Government Gone Wild” seminar. “Whoever the nominee is, you’re going to see tea party people, 9/12 people, Ron Paul people all falling in because getting rid of Barack Obama and stopping what he’s doing to this country and to future generations is too important.”