Romney nabs tea party endorsement in South Carolina
September 4th, 2011
05:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney nabs tea party endorsement in South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – On the day before he takes part in a South Carolina presidential forum being organized by Sen. Jim DeMint, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney secured a high-profile tea party endorsement in the first-in-the-south primary state.

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, one of the most tea party-friendly elected officials in the Palmetto State, told CNN Sunday that he will chair Romney’s presidential campaign in state.

“He is the guy who reflects my values and has the greatest chance of taking back the White House in 2012,” Loftis said in a phone interview.

Loftis praised Romney's private sector experience and said he is more electable than the rest of the Republican candidates currently seeking the White House, including two with strong footholds in South Carolina: Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Romney has a complicated relationship with some in the tea party movement, thanks largely to the health care law he passed as governor that mandates the purchase of health insurance.

He has also spent little time so far in South Carolina during his second bid for the White House, after spending millions of dollars here only to finish fourth in the 2008 primary.

But Loftis, who aggressively courted tea party activists during his 2010 campaign and once printed campaign bumper stickers emblazoned with Gadsden flags, said Romney can not only win South Carolina but also attract tea party support along the way

“As things go to the primaries, I think the tea party will show itself to be very pragmatic and to be very interested in the financial situation in America,” Loftis said. “They, like us, don’t want to be watching the inauguration on television. They want to be there in January 2013.”

CNN reported last week that Loftis was likely to throw his support behind Romney.

- CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • South Carolina • Tea Party movement
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. BobRoss

    Curtis Loftis holds little to no weight in SC. Romney is going to need much more than that to succeed here.

    September 4, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. T'sah from Virginia

    [“He is the guy who reflects my values and has the greatest chance of taking back the White House in 2012,” Loftis said in a phone interview.]

    But I thought ALL TPs shared ALL of the same values??!!! Romney FLIPPED and FLOPPED so much to the point where he is now a TP favorite and they cannot see that??? Really? Didn’t another TP organization bar Romney from attending one of their events??? OMG, the Perry’s and the Bachmanns and the Palins and the Santorums and the NEWTons are going to be PISSED and have a field day with this!!!!! The plot thickens!!! LMAO!!

    Obama/Biden 2012!!

    September 4, 2011 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  3. Jeffrey

    I wouldn't have guessed this.

    Of the bunch, I've favored Romney but I assumed the tea baggers have no interest in him due to Obamneycare.

    September 4, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. Fred

    Curtis is becoming a kingmaker for SC politics. Governor Romney is surely lucky to have Curtis supporting him. As a conservative South Carolina voter, I will be proudly supporting Mitt Romney for President!

    September 4, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Brian Frank

    good strategy Curtis! I like it. That should bring Perry down a bit!

    September 4, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Nick

    The kiss of death.

    September 4, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Squigman

    High diddle, diddle, the rat in the middle, the man jumped over the loon. The little dog laughed to see suck bunk, and the rich ran away with the loot. Vote republican. Watch your future desolve in front of you.

    September 4, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. ggcanada

    why don.t some boby ask him how much did he get payed helping company,s relocate in communist china and if him and his corperate buddys prefer communist goverments

    September 4, 2011 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. jeff

    Curtis is a hard working guy that stands up for the people of SC. This will help Mitt...

    September 4, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. jannett

    Romney must jump on the crazy train in order to win the nomination, if he doesn't then he is out. Choo Choo

    September 4, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. w l jones

    We need at home worker not globe trotter waste value gas running up and down the road. Enough said.

    September 4, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Romney is so NOT Tea Party material.

    September 4, 2011 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Wise1Speak


    If Romney can secure more Tea Party support from the south (which is very much possible), then wannabe Republican "General Election Unelectable Candidates" (GEUC) like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum will fall like dominos.

    September 4, 2011 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    nothing says loser more than anything coming out of backwards sc

    September 4, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. Seattle Sue

    I didn't think Romney was radical/crazy enough for the Tea Party.

    September 4, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. The Elephant in The Room

    His "private sector experience" is as a corporate raider that borrowed money, used it to buy companies, reduced costs by FIRING American workers, sold of the constiuent pieces of the company, paid off the borrowed loans and pocketed what was left over.

    What, from that resume of skills, is applicable to America`s employment/ economic problem? Why would ANYBODY hire Mitt for the job of President of the USA; which is more akin to a not-for-profit business than a money-grubbing corporation.

    Are we suppose to hire Romney because he`s a white male, with Brylcream hair, a Brooks Brothers suit & wingtips? He has NEVER demonstrated the skills for the job. In fact he`s applied the OPPOSITE skills for solving our high unemployment problem. Does the GOP think they can svengali/snooker/bam-boozle 60 MILLION Americans into voting for this guy?

    September 4, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Patrick from Minnesota

    Say goodbye to your independent voters Mitt! But hey, maybe you'll have a better shot in 2016.

    September 4, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Julie Abrahamson

    Happy to have another businessman who knows economics trying to get America back on track ! America needs someone who knows what they are doing for a change !!!!!!!

    September 4, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  19. Friday Idise

    It really a nice one Mitt.

    September 4, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, what was his private experience? I don't think that it is enough that he was in private sector. I don't think that it was that he was a governor. The better questions are what did he do during his time as governor? What did he do as a "leader" in the private sector? The answer to these questions would give us an idea how much should we really trust him and nominate him.

    September 4, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. AlaskaPalin

    All the confusion we are having comes about because palin has not announce as yet. When she does the natural order of things will be restored. Sarah the outsider and maverick will be the sure winner.

    September 4, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  22. Susan

    I like that Romney has been heard many "no"s in his times of running for public office. Often the most successful people have heard the most "no's" in their experiences. They learn from those When that doesn't happen for them, they quit and go on to other pursuits that will lend to their asperations. Others run and run and run because they have something to give and care to about something deeply....something like say the welfare of the nation and its people. I am certain that Romney is of the second category. His experience in the private sector has lgiven him confidence to do his best if elected to get our nation back on economical sound sound ground again.

    September 4, 2011 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    wake up America and start smelling the coffee and STOP drinking the tea!

    September 4, 2011 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  24. thomas

    That means his being paid to give his endorsement !

    Money talks !

    Why wont Romney tell the american people why none of his five sons did any military service ?

    September 4, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  25. DENNA

    Oh joy. Now he has joined the elite club of card- carrying conservative bullies. Yeah Mittens, good luck with the endorsement.

    September 4, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |