Skip to comments.Internal memo: Romney courting Kochs, Tea Party
Posted on 11/02/2011 3:53:16 PM PDT by markomalley
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is quietly courting the Tea Party as it becomes increasingly clear that the conservative grass-roots movement, which has stubbornly refused to embrace him, represents a bigger threat to Romney's quest for his party's nomination than any of his rivals.
Less than two months before the Iowa caucuses, Romney is skipping a major Iowa event Friday -- where every other GOP hopeful will be -- to deliver a keynote speech on fiscal policy to the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.
Americans for Prosperity is led by billionaire Republican donor David Koch, whose endorsement Romney seeks. An Oct. 4 internal Romney campaign memo obtained by The Washington Examiner describes Koch as the "financial engine of the Tea Party" even though Koch "denies being directly involved." Koch endorsed Romney for president in 2008 and his well-funded group is credited with electing dozens of Republicans to Congress in 2010 and creating a network of Tea Party loyalists who are critical to Romney's chances of winning the nomination, political strategists say.
"In many national surveys, Romney has had difficulty breaking 25 percent in support and that's because [Tea Party] conservatives are suspicious of him and doubt his commitment to their issues," said Darrell West, vice president of government studies for the Brookings Institution. "He's courting the Tea Party because he needs them to win."
Members of the Tea Party, which emerged in 2009 to demand smaller government and fiscal austerity, have so far rejected Romney as beholden to the Republican establishment.
"Our vote is split up among so many candidates -- none of whom are Romney," said Judson Phillips, co-founder of Tea Party Nation, a 50,000-member group within the national movement.
"Romney's problem with a lot of Tea Party voters, myself included, is at this point I don't know what he believes and I don't care -- because even if he tells me: 'When I get to the White House I'm going to be fiscally conservative,' he will probably change his mind, depending on which way the political winds are blowing."
Romney defends the government's 2008 bank bailouts and he once supported abortion rights, gay rights and gun control, which contrasts sharply to the positions backed by most Tea Party voters. His mere attendance at a Tea Party Express rally in August sparked a protest from another Tea Party-affiliated group, FreedomWorks.
Behind the scenes, Romney has been trying to win an endorsement from Koch, who has made no endorsements in the current race though he backed Romney for president in 2008.
Romney reached out to Koch in early October after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who Koch is said to support, decided against a run for president, the internal campaign memo shows.
Romney spokesman Ryan Williams declined to comment on the relationship between Romney and Koch.
The memo says Romney was scheduled to meet with Koch on Aug. 28 at the billionaire's home in Southampton, N.Y. -- where Koch held a major event for Romney in 2010 -- but Hurricane Irene foiled their plans. The two last met in January for lunch in Manhattan at the Links Club, an elite social club for avid golfers.
Calls to Koch's office were not returned.
That's all one needs to know right there.
Suspicion implies we aren't sure. Trust me, we are quite sure that we despise Mittens.
The Koch brothers are libertarians/conservatives. Good luck convincing them that Oromneybama is the answer to their prayers.
Bwaaaa haaa haa haa
why would the kochs back a loser?
I see why Romney is doing this...but I think he mistakes Koch for the Tea Partiers as a whole.
Tea Partiers do not have a single leader. No, it isn’t Ron Paul, or Sarah Palin, or Herman Cain.
Tea Partiers are about the IDEA of smaller, limited government.
*THIS* Tea Partier believes it especially applies to FEDERAL power, with the states free to experiment as they like. I know there are other Tea Partiers who disagree with me. :) And I respect their opinions.
AFP will lose ALL credibility, with Willard speaking there.
People keep saying that, and then they leave out that "this person" endorsed Romney because the other choice was McCain!!!
Revisionist manipulators drive me crazy.
Romney is nothing to me. And after the latest shennanigans by Perry, I would sooner vote for Obama.
Conservatives? BAHHH! They just showed their true liberal colors for all of America to see.
Well, this tea partier says FUMR to the chief architect, author and advocate of ObamaRomneyCommieCare!! Not to mention that Romney advocated for TARP, the federal bailouts and Obama’s Porkulus stimulus package all of which lumped together were the reasons that the tea party spontaneously sprang into being!!
Like we are a bunch of dopes waiting to see who the Koch’s endorse. The TP movement is not going to go with this stiff no matter what the so called leaders say. Mittens is in desperation mode now.
The Kochs have already given support in one way or another to both Cain and Perry (not sure about the others), but I doubt Romney is their cup of tea.
Romney will never have my vote, either.
RINO blood is a political sickness that is infecting America.
The Tea Party is the only cure.
Makes you wonder who is giving mittens advice......cause there is no way he will ever get my support...ever
I may have to vote for him in the end.... Hopefully not, But it will be under protest
I don't know about you, but my last RINO vote was in 2008. I will not EVER do that again.
To me it’s fairly simple.....it’s a numbers game
If I don’t vote against Obama he gets an extra vote for him
Even if that means voting for mittens as much it would pain me
Then you are no conservative.
And only a vote for a Republican counts as a vote against Obama, right?