Skip to comments.In Romney, Moderates See A Champion Against The "Nutjobs" The Tea Party is so 2009
Posted on 03/03/2012 9:25:42 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
ANN ARBOR, Michigan As he watched last week's Republican debate from his apartment in University of Michigan's married student housing, Derek Osborne could hardly contain his disgust every time Rick Santorum came on TV.
"He represents a part of the Republican party that drives me absolutely crazy," he seethed.
Osborne, a Ph.D candidate, is a Mitt Romney supporter. He's also a moderate Republican who is alarmed at what he sees as the anti-intellectual fervorand undeniable political powerof the Tea Party movement. As the latest candidate to emerge as the main populist rival to Romney, Santorum has become the primary political enemy of Osborne and millions of voters like him.
Indeed, more than anywhere else in this political moment, Romney's campaign stops have served as the stage for a rising counter-revolution against the Tea Partywith moderate Republicans uniting behind the candidate whose nomination, they hope, will damp down the fires that have raged on the right since 2009. It's the latest turn in an intramural war that has been waged since Barry Goldwater beat a handful of Establishment Republicans including Michigan Governor George Romney in the 1964 Republican primary.
"I will not vote for him if he's the nominee," Osborne pledged, as Santorum's face filled the television set in his living room. "For him there's one right answer that is given by God that you have to obey. You're not allowed to talk about negotiating or compromising. It's insane."
It's a sentiment that was echoed repeatedly by the crowds of supporters at Romney's recent campaign swing through Michigan.
Mark Mailloux, a Romney rally-goer from Fenton, MI who works in the health care field, called Santorum the latest star in a rotating cast of "conservative nutjobs... First it was Bachmann, then whats-his-face from Texas, and right on down the road."
His wife Joan agreed: "I don't want a nominee clear over by the Tea Party. I want a moderate, responsible Republican. Santorum tells us on television that he's got these big economic plans and then he doesn't tell us a darn thing about them," she said, complaining that he spends too much time attacking his opponents and sermonizing on social issues.
In Kalamazoo, MI, student Gus Thatcher voiced exasperation at conservatives' stubborn insistence on mobilizing behind a new standard-bearer every time Romney has defeated one of their candidates. He was particularly irked by Santorum's sudden re-emergence.
"It just sort of happened out of nowhere, and they can't even explain why they like him [more than Gingrich]," he said, adding that Santorum is "too extreme to beat Obama."
Though he has made occasional half-hearted appeals to the Tea Party, Romney himself has appeared to embrace his role as the party's moderate answer to right-wing populism. During a visit to Michigan's campaign headquarters on Tuesday, he let loose on his more conservative opponents.
Its very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments, he told reporters. Weve seen throughout the campaign that if youre willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama that youre going to jump up in the polls. You know, Im not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.
This type of rhetoric is exactly what has earned him so many supporters in the GOP's waning moderate wing. But as the race has worn on, many of those same voters have grown restless with Romney's inability to seal the dealand some wish he'd set his hair on fire to defeat Santorum.
"Why hasn't Mitt taken him out yet?" asked a frustrated Eric Zeugschmidt, a communications executive from Provo, Utah.
His advice to Romney?
"Take the kid gloves off and start knocking some heads... This Mr. Nice Guy who is taking the higher road is not working."
Not one d*** thing.
That’s funny, I see DNC candidate #2.
“Against The “Nutjobs””
He that controls the language, controls the masses-Saul Alinsky
The Nutjob Tea Party
No deficit spending. Lower taxes. Limited, constitutional government. Individual freedom. Individual responsibility.
Massive deficit spending. Higher taxes. Ever expanding government. Regulating individuals. Dependency on government from cradle to grave.
Who are the nutjobs again?
Shoot, anything we don’t like, is liberal.
Please don’t say things like this. You may detest Romney but he is not Obama. He may be a different kind of evil that we don’t know about yet, but from what we know now, the difference is humongous.
Santorum is not truly tea party. This guy is setting him up as a sort of straw man tea party candidate. Why don’t they argue aganst the stated principles of the tea party, instead of Santorum’s choir boy nonsense that will turn off 3/4 of the voters?
My guess is that this *doctoral student* couldn’t pass a high school civics test ...or the naturalization exam given to legal immigrants for citizenship.
“Santorums choir boy nonsense”
Romney is far WORSE than Obama.
They deliver the SAME.
Obama will be impeached now.
Romney will enforce the same with the same troops.
IF ROMNEY IS ON THE TICKET, the entire GOP
is dead; as will be America (Team Romney’s goal).
The real battle will come in 2016. By then, there will be no more room for nuance or tempered and moderate perspective. Candidates will not be on searches for their “core values.” The men, or women, suitable for the Presidency will already be vetted by actions. On the opposite side, the mask will be off and the communists will be throwing red meat to their rabble. In turn, they’ll be rioting.
“Remind me again what the difference would be between a Romney and Obama administration.”
I would, but there won’t be any, contrary to what a bunch of Democrats with Rs next to their names tell us.
“Heck these days, moderate means socialist”
Maybe he is really campaigning for Biden’s job :P
“He may be a different kind of evil that we dont know about yet, but from what we know now, the difference is humongous.”
His close political ally Chris Christie put a homosexual on the NJ Supreme Court because ‘diversity is important on the court’. Am I supposed to believe that Mitt will nominate a conservative for the courts?
All he will do is make it impossible for the Republicans in Congress to oppose a liberal judge.
Not a sir but the writer sounds more like a democrat to me than a republican.
THe e-GOP is politically to the left of Democratic Party that nominated Senator John F. Kennedy for President in 1960.
Birth control and the Devil. You know that’s what the hoi polloi are going to take away from their exposure to this candidate. Not to mention he is the most anti-gay candidate out there. I’m talking electability.
What does all this have to do with the tea party? Nada.
We can’t fight unethical use of government power with force, wherever it comes from, if that’s what you mean. Our only hope is in the realm of ideas.
Yet I’m not convinced Romney is a Muslim Marxist ineligible anti-Semitic wrecking ball to everything our country stands for.
Let’s say we don’t like either one, but they are not the same.