No ideal tea party candidate
February 21st, 2012
06:07 PM ET
11 years ago

No ideal tea party candidate

(CNN) - The motto for the organization Tea Party Patriots is "100% Grassroots, 100% of the time."

And to keep that philosophy, the group's co-founder Mark Meckler recently paid a visit to Cincinnati. Ohio's primary is part of "Super Tuesday," meaning the Buckeye State has seen its share of the Republican presidential contenders.

CNN LIVE: Tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET for the last presidential debate before Super Tuesday, the CNN/Arizona Republican Party Debate hosted by John King. Follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate and on Facebook at CNN Politics. For real-time coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries, go to or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Meckler's job is to get the grassroots excited about voting, no matter for whom.

"In the presidential primaries, all of the candidates are speaking to tea party values," Meckler told CNN Radio. "I don't think any of them [is] the perfect tea party candidate, if you look at their records [on] tea party principles."

The candidates, plus the respective super PACs supporting their White House bids, have gone after each other on issues such as voting records in Congress, earmarks, health care reform (real and imagined), and ethics.

So there's always something for a tea party activist to find troubling, Meckler said, theorizing the slate of concerns might explain exit polls showing voters who self-describe as tea party supporters not coalescing behind one GOP contender.

"They've all embraced, fully, tea party principles," Meckler repeated, but noted all candidates, "with the exception of Ron Paul, are big-government Republicans. These are guys that have believed in and voted for big government programs. These are big spenders."

When a nominee is crowned, Meckler figured not much would change in terms of what the movement wants.

"The goal of the tea party is to see that principles in which we believe - fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited free government, free markets - become part of the debate in every election around the country," he said.

Also see:

Paul ad slams Santorum

Obama campaign takes a swing at Santorum

Gingrich describes Obama as a national security risk

Franklin Graham questions Obama, Romney on Christian Faith

Filed under: Tea Party movement
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    Shouldn't be too difficult for them to find candidates. Just raid the mental institutions like they've apparently been doing.

    February 21, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  2. kayla

    this is thev same group that is getting government hand out, how you like that?

    February 21, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. Tired of republican lies

    It doesn't matter...none of them have a shot to win weed picker....they all suck!
    Obama/Biden 2012!

    February 21, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    ►No ideal tea party candidate

    Okay – and there NEVER will be!! The Tea Party is DONE!

    February 21, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Sorry ladies, the Tea Party is a bunch of under educated, easily manipulated bigots! You had your day in the sun. Bye Bye!

    February 21, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. TellinZTruth

    Your goal, dear sir, is not the goals of the Majority of Americans and we will prove that come NOV.
    Nuff' said.

    February 21, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  7. Squigman

    The Tea Party, is America. Wow. It's enough to make a persons head spin. People, so full of themselves, they insult the rest of us, by insinuating that the rest of us don't quit make the grade. They are the Americans, and they tolerate our being here. Makes a persons head spin.

    February 21, 2012 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  8. Canuck

    These folk are being led around by the nose by a bunch of rich guys who really don't give a crap about them. The really sad part is that they don't even realise it.

    February 21, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Mike Ikeo

    Ron Paul is credited with starting the Tea Party, or at least his supporters are, inspired by Paul. It was in December 2007 that Paul supporters raised over $6 million in one day, a Tea Party money bomb, the first of it’s kind. I know because I participated, and have been fighting along with Ron Paul for the last 5 years, advocating the Constitution, sound money, ending Wars, Auditing the Fed, ending the Patriot Act/NDAA/TSA, and restoring peace, prosperity and liberty to the American people. Ron Paul is the only true conservative, whose message hasn’t changed in 30 years, and he’s been right all along.

    February 21, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't believe this "tea party" movement is 100% grassroots. It could be a great deal grassroots, but I have to wonder where were these people years ago. Why didn't they oppose any of the defict spending that George W Bush did or how about George H W Bush did or how about Reagan? He did a lot. These people are too little too late. I still believe that there is a racist element that makes up the tea partiers.

    February 21, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. MikeH

    The "Tea Party" is a front for Republican theofacists funded by Republican fat-cat facists. Just look what wonders they've come up with.

    State-sponsored rape legislation in Virginia.

    Suspension of the right to vote in Michigan.

    Voter suppression in Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and other southern States.

    Goon squads and phone-threats in Idaho.

    Yessir America, if you don't act now to stop them facists, kiss American Democracy goodbye and say hello to the Fourth Reich.

    February 21, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  12. Jose Canyusi

    Stick a fork in the Tea party; there done.

    February 22, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  13. Thomas

    Tea Party Patriots is "100% Grassroots, 100% of the time."

    I voted for Fred...
    This brothers me... Fred Thompson American Advisors Group (AAG) Commercial for Reverse Mortgage ...
    Sen. Fred Thompson named national reverse mortgage spokesman for American Advisors Group.

    February 22, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  14. Marry

    “The Tea-Party is America”?? The poster is an insult to 80% of the American People!!!

    President Obama 2012!!!

    February 22, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  15. Anonymous

    C'mon Tea Party, show Flipper and Rove who really has the muscle in the GOP.

    February 22, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  16. The Elephant In The Room

    Said it 18 months ago and I`ll say it again . . . the establishment GOP will only pander to & tolerate the TeaPublican wing so much. They will not embrace them fully because they know that Teapublicans are not electable in a general election . . . their politics are TOO EXTREME.

    All the birther certificate, death panel, don`t retreat/ reload, outlaw planned parenthood, "YOU LIE" / fingerwagging disrespect of the POTUS, etc. type nonsense was "CUTE" for Fox News viewers, but the rest of us find it purile and distasteful. I, for 1, won`t give the GOP a pass for looking the other way when these Teapublican acts reared their ugly heads. The GOP realizes they have turned off thinking independents and hence will reject the TeaParty zealots for now.

    February 22, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
1 2