Mitt Romney

Rand Paul and Other Tea Party Senators Skeptical of Mitt Romney

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Romney's views on the Tea Party have been consistent all along: He really wants to be president. (Joke appropriated from Peter Suderman.)

Over at Yahoo News, Chris Moody asks three Tea Party-aligned senators what they think about Mitt Romney's TP cred. Sample:

"That's not a simple question," Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a founding member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, told me Thursday night as he rushed to a meeting in the Capitol building. He said he didn't have time to give a complete answer, so I caught up with him again outside the Senate chamber an hour later, where he obliged.

"What the tea party stands for, and what unites everybody in the tea party I think, is their concern about the debt, and the concern that we're borrowing so much and printing so much to pay for our debt," Paul said. "And as much as any politician comes toward that, I think they will be embraced. I don't think there's a clear-cut person out there other than Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin–people that are at the forefront of the tea party. But I don't have anything negative to say about Romney." […]

He doesn't always endorse presidential candidates, but when he does….

"The principles of the tea party are incredibly simple," Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, another founding member of the caucus, told me. "It's all about the fact that the federal government is too big and too expensive, and anyone who supports that proposition can barely align themselves in one way or another with the tea party."  But when I asked if Romney passed that test, there was nothing simple about it. Lee paused, sighed, and said that he didn't have time to offer a complete answer to the question. (He was running into a Senate vote and the deadline was fast approaching.) But Lee took a stab at it anyway: "He understands free markets. He understands how to generate revenue. He understands the limitations of government."

"And anyway, I wish him well," he added abruptly before disappearing behind the doors of the Senate chamber.

When I asked Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, also a freshman senator who  won election on widespread support from the tea party,  he said he was reserving judgment.

"We'll see based on how he conducts himself on the campaign," Johnson said. "What his ideas are. So, I'm not going to rule people out of the movement. Obviously I'm looking for a candidate on the Republican side who is fiscally conservative, who understands that we're bankrupting this nation, who loves this country, realizes that it's way too precious to bankrupt. And who's dedicated to preventing that."

Link via Moody's Twitter feed.

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  1. I see a lot of hemming and hawing there….just as one would expect of any politician. They won’t come right out and say they disagree with Mittens because, who knows? Maybe he’ll be the nominee, in which case they’ll have to lick his boots regardless.

    This is why I hate politicians in all walks of life.

  2. Its hard to disagree with Romney since he changes his position so often.

    1. Mitt Romney makes John Kerry look like Thomas More.

  3. I now know that Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson feel fairly confident that Romney will be the nominee.

    1. Nope. They are just sensible enough not to provide ammunition to the Ds. What R pol wants to constantly get hounded by interviewers trying to start an internecine battle or wants to see their words used in D campaign ads? Besides, Romney might end up in the Senate some day and words are forever.

      1. With politicians you often have to read betwen the lines. What you get from the three senators is exactly what the title of the article says. They don’t trust the guy.

  4. In Rand’s book, he (or Jack Hunter) talks quite a bit about Reagan’s 11th Commandment. With his answer, Rand, seems to be trying to follow that. He stayed on message that the candidates will have to come to the TP and it principles.

  5. Damning with faint praise, much.

  6. Plus, asking Rand Paul here about Presidential candidates when his own father is running is probably a mistake. A bit of a (very understandable!) conflict of interest here. He probably won’t do anything more than offer some glittering generalities about other candidates being nice and all.

  7. “He understands free markets. He understands how to generate revenue. He understands the limitations of government.”

    Three concepts that will be promptly forgotten should he manage to wrest the job from the current idiot holding the position.

    1. Karl Marx understood free markets, too, but he didn’t like them very much.

      1. Good to see that’s working out for him.

  8. Plus, asking Rand Paul here about Presidential candidates when his own father is running is probably a mistake. A bit of a (very understandable!) conflict of interest here. He probably won’t do anything more than offer some glittering generalities about other candidates being nice and all.

  9. Obviously I’m looking for a candidate on the Republican side who is fiscally conservative, who understands that we’re bankrupting this nation, who loves this country, realizes that it’s way too precious to bankrupt. And who’s dedicated to preventing that.

    There hasn’t been a Republican President like that since Eisenhower, maybe Coolidge.

  10. Sounds like Romney is “solid” in the minds of these three. I did not hear anything negative.

    1. “Thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans”

      Doesn’t mean he is solid, just that they aren’t going to give the Dems any raw meat.

  11. “Tea Party Senators Skeptical of Mitt Romney”

    Obviously, it’s a slow news day.

  12. Isn’t Rand Paul the idiot son of Ron Paul? He’s the one who think doctors in Sweden are enslaved, right? So who gives a fuck what he thinks about anything?

    1. cause he is smarter than you, hows that for a reason?

    2. Good point Max! I’m surprised that such a blatant racist would care at all about slavery…of either doctors or blacks!

      Wow! What a conundrum!

  13. “And as much as any politician comes toward that, I think they will be embraced. I don’t think there’s a clear-cut person out there other than Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin–people that are at the forefront of the tea party.”

    Rand really doesn’t want anybody to know that Gary Johnson exists, eh?

    1. Has Johnson tried to ride the TP buzz or is he just running as someone with libertarian ideas?

    2. “Rand really doesn’t want anybody to know that Gary Johnson exists, eh?”

      Has GJ been immersing herself in the TP and its activities? Has he been attending TP rallies, giving speeches to them or leading any efforts explicitly on the TP’s behalf? Hell, has GJ even made any real effort to be included in the debates? Smoking pot kills drive and ambition and GJ proves it.

  14. Anyone else get the feeling that there are a lot of awkward silences when Romney, Lee, Paul and Johnson are in the same room?

  15. Like every politician, Rand Paul can only suck so many dicks at once. He’s got the coal industry living in his mouth at the moment.

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