FreedomWorks, one of the largest and most influential national Tea Party groups, is planning to devote its considerable resources toward uniting the grassroots “movement” behind whoever emerges as the most electable alternative to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Huffington Post reports.
“I don’t think I’ve met any groups or any local activists that like him or want him to be president,” Tea Party activist Brendan Steinhauser said. “They just don’t believe he’s authentic. That’s the biggest problem in addition to the health care thing.”
FreedomWorks said it has no plans for an early endorsement of one of Mr. Romney’s opponents.
How much the Tea Party will influence the 2012 GOP presidential nomination process is not yet clear. Since emerging as a political force in 2009, the decentralized conservative groups have primarily focused on state and local politics. The movement remains a scattered medley of fiercely independent groups that tend to buck anything they perceive as Washington meddling.
The 2012 GOP presidential race could be the movement’s “Achilles heel,” FreedomWorks leaders told HuffPo. They admitted the organisation is concerned that the “movement” won’t be able to unify for a national campaign, thus giving Romney an advantage by splintering its votes.
“We are nervous about this presidential race,” spokesman Adam Brandon said. “I’m not going to hide that.”