Last week, on the heels of rival Tim Pawlenty’s call for an end to ethanol subsidies, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped up and told an audience of Iowa voters that he, in contrast, supported ethanol subsidies.
Romney’s rejection of free market principles in favor of this politically expedient pandering is yet another example that illustrates why the tea party will never support him in the primaries. If he wins the Republican nomination, any subsequent backing from the tea party will come with the same kind of nose holding fervor shown by those unenthusiastic conservatives who voted for John McCain in 2008.
I say this as a tea party activist and conservative who has, in the past, given Romney the benefit of the doubt; so much so that in 2008 I ran successfully as a delegate to the Republican National Convention pledged to support him. I thought then that Romney was the best of a relatively weak field. Now, in 2012, from a tea party perspective, I think he’s probably the worst of a relatively weak field.
All of this simply re-enforces the need for a Voices of the Tea Party e-book that rates the current crop of Presidential contenders on their compatibility with tea party core values.
Michael Patrick Leahy is the editor of the Voices of the Tea Party e-book series and co-founder of Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. His new e-book, I, Light Bulb: A Death Row Testimonial, will be published in July, 2011. His new book, Covenant of Liberty, will be published by Broadside Books in January, 2012. He can be reached on Twitter at @michaelpleahy .