Talk with Tea Party leaders here in South Carolina and you quickly realize that the toughest job in the Mitt Romney campaign would be the assignment of doing outreach to these activists. Maybe not a mission impossible, but close.
They really want no part of Romney. And there appears to be little he could say or do between now and Jan. 21, the date of the South Carolina primary, to change that.
The Massachusetts health law Romney enacted as governor with its individual mandate called Romneycare by critics is just one of several reasons they give for their animus.
There are Romney’s policy-position switches that some have less charitably called flip flops. And there’s Romney’s failure, at least in Tea Party activists’ eyes, to reach out to them directly.
“There’s no Tea Partier that I talk to in the state or nationally that would want to promote Romney,” said Karen Martin, who leads the Spartanburg Tea Party. “Other than the people that have come out publicly and endorsed Mitt Romney and the people left over from his 2008 campaign, I do not personally know anyone that does not despise Mitt Romney and doesn’t hate the idea of him being our nominee…”