S.C. tea party elected official mulls Romney endorsement
September 1st, 2011
07:21 PM ET
12 years ago

S.C. tea party elected official mulls Romney endorsement

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – Mitt Romney may get the support of a statewide elected official with strong tea party ties in South Carolina who believes the former Massachusetts governor is the only candidate who can beat President Barack Obama.

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis tells CNN that plans for an announcement have not been made when Romney visits the early Southern primary state on Labor Day.

Romney’s campaign has not responded to e-mails requesting comment, but a source familiar with discussions tells CNN that Loftis is considering signing on as Romney’s state chairman, the role held by Sen. Jim DeMint in 2008.

Loftis was elected in 2010, the year that tea party support helped catapult people including Gov. Nikki Haley and Loftis over Republican-establishment candidates into office.

“Grassroots Republicans love Curtis Loftis. He’s doing what he said he’d do and people respond to that,” the state’s Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly said.

Loftis was in North Dakota attending a state treasurers’ conference when CNN reached him earlier this week. He would not confirm his intentions to join the Romney camp but spoke candidly about the importance of electing someone who can beat Obama in November 2012.

“My friends, they’re thrilled with the candidates, but they’re not going to throw their vote away,” Loftis said. “Tea party people are a lot more pragmatic than people give them credit for.”

Romney rescheduled a speech at a tea party rally in New Hampshire in order to visit South Carolina and attend a conservative group’s forum on Labor Day hosted by DeMint.

The two-time presidential candidate came in fourth in the state’s 2008 primary.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Tea Party
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    Republican Christians will not vote for a member of religious cult!

    September 1, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. kyle

    So the tea clowns admit that they are sore losers who just want to beat Obama.

    September 1, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Someone has to breathe life into Mittens failing campaign.

    September 1, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. Eric B

    Loftis is the only elected official in Columbia to do what he said he would do. He stands up for the people of the state. He stands up to the powerful, the rich and the crooked. Loftis is well liked by my Tea Party friends and my business friends. Mitt, if he gets him, has really pulled off a coup.

    September 1, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. thomas

    I like coffee , I like tea , I like the Java jive and it likes me !

    Perry / and the Crazy Lady 2012
    2 dollar gas and the freedom to chose 60 watt light bulbs

    September 1, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Donkey Party

    Death to Anarchists, death to the Tealiban Party.

    September 1, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Mitt Romney is getting a Tea Party curse and it would be wise of him to disinfect himself.

    September 1, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The endorsement for Mittens should be, "After review of the idiocy of the Perry, Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum and Paul campaigns, I realize our best shot is with the biggest, richest flip flopper in history. He isn't much, but he is all we got."

    September 1, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Russ

    You know the Tea Party is getting desperate if they would consider endorsing a Mormon instead of a fire breathing dragon like Bachmann or Perry......WOW

    September 1, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Really? Do you really think he is going to fit the bill that most tea people would accept? I don't think so.

    September 1, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  11. Limbaugh is a liberal

    What's sader... a so-called republican governor of a liberal state who flip-flopped on every issue depending on whether he wants to pander to republican conservative base or the general electorate...
    OR, the so-called hard-liner so-called conservatives who care NOTHING for the record of the aforementioned flip-floper, they just care for teh politics of elections, and throw their support behind a person whose record they have criticized for years...

    September 1, 2011 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. Peter E

    The Tea Party hates wasteful government spending...
    ...but they defend government subsidies, handouts, and no-oversight contracts to private companies
    The Tea Party hates government handouts...
    ...but if you don't give them their Social Security checks they accuse you of ripping them off
    The Tea Party demonizes universal health care as socialist...
    ...But if we don't support Medicare payments to them then we are a panel of death...
    The Tea Party demands that taxes be cut...
    ...but demands that those who work multiple jobs and are exploited by corporate overlords who refuse to pay them fair wages while they justify their quarterly multi-million dollar bonuses also 'share the burden'
    The Tea Party demands hands-off on business...
    ...except when corporations collapse and leave countless exploited families jobless, because 'why didn't the government prevent this/why won't the government bail me out?'
    The Tea Party demands focus on JOB creation...
    ...right after lengthy arguments about the details of the budget that are very small percent of spending, arguments about foreign intervention that weren't ANY kind of issue to them when Bush was in power, gay marriage, Obama's birth certificate, people wearing American flag lapel pins, whether one of Obama's staff's aide says anything that under one forced interpretation might possibly be construed as offensive to an otherwise neglected segment of the population that the Tea Party never mentioned before...

    September 1, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  13. Larry L

    Romney isn't nearly crazy enough for the Tea Party. Hitler wasn't crazy enough.

    September 1, 2011 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  14. skarphace

    Loftis: “Tea party people are a lot more pragmatic than people give them credit for.”

    They would have to be if they are going to be willing to nominate a moderate and a Mormon like Romney. To be honest, though, I don't see this happening. I think the Tea Party is exactly as 'pragmatic' as people give them credit for.

    I do not see them turning their back on an outspoken Teavangelist like Perry or Bachmann just so they can vote for a candidate that 'can beat Obama'.

    I hope I am wrong and the Republicans nominate Romney or Paul. I would very much like to have a choice in 2012.

    September 1, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  15. JW

    What, and give up on Palin or Bachman. Are you people sure you want to compromise like that? Seems out of character . . .

    September 1, 2011 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  16. Indy

    Corporations are people, Tea Party people are people too, enough said goodbye Mitts, go get a job you are done like dinner, you stand for everything that is against America as in the Tea Party and corporations.

    September 2, 2011 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. BB

    This circus clown is going down deeper and deeper!! every day!!

    September 2, 2011 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  18. johnmenacherjr

    WOW endorsed by the most DOD dependent welfare state in the country? why work when you can collect off us yeah go tea bags you got it all! What could go wrong hmmm–depression collapse and mayhem just ripe for the Kock bros. Yeah well SC endorsement wont make me want any Tea bay its more of a tartget here.

    September 2, 2011 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  19. ccr

    like Mr. Loftis' idea that the tea party is more "pragmatic" than they get credit for. I think that is true for a LOT of tea party citizens, while admittedly there are some that are looking for a tough guy appeal to go against Obama. While the "tough guy" approach attracts a certain segment, it's "pragmatic" to realize that will not fly in the general election.

    September 2, 2011 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Oooh. Looks like the baggers have finally realized that they are holding a 7-High Nothing, hoping to draw on an Inside Straight, with all the mooks they have been courting for the Republican Nomination instead of the three Deuces they have currently with Romney. Unfortunately for them, President Obama may still be able to take the hand depending on jobs and the deficit go over the next year.

    September 2, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |