Romney won. Not only that, but I just don’t see anyone taking the nomination away from him. Herman Cain was not convincing enough, neither was Michele Bachman. And Perry? Was he at the debate last night? He is so bad at debates, it is painful to watch. Romney on the other hand gave me the confidence that he can go up to Obama in a debate and completely outperform him. And it is imperative that Obama be defeated.
This is not an endorsement of Romney; it is an acceptance of reality. When the stars of the conservative movement (Palin or Allen West) decide to sit out the primaries, leaving us with well-intentioned but inexperienced Herman Cain and Michele Bachman, then the establishment candidate is going to win. We can’t blame this on Romney or even on the establishment. If our candidates refuse to seek “a title,” then we can’t win. It’s that simple.
Will Romney get Tea Party support? I think it will be important to see who he picks as his Vice President. Will he pick Tea Party rising star Marco Rubio? I’m not sure. Marco Rubio would be the star of the ticket, much as Palin was the start of the 2008 ticket. That can be a distraction, and you want to keep the focus on the top of the ticket as much as you can. Besides, Rubio has made it clear he is not interested in leaving the Senate so soon after getting there.
My pick to join a Romney ticket would be Senator Jim DeMint. I think that would be a terrific pick. DeMint would help Romney win the South, where he is not popular at all. And without winning the South Romney can’t beat Obama.
DeMint is respected by almost every faction of the Tea Party movement. He is an intelligent and capable man, and he is ready to be President from day one. Most importantly, he is a principled and outspoken man. If Romney found himself drifting left he would hear it from DeMint, and we could be satisfied that the ideas of the Tea Party movement would have a strong advocate within the White House. That’s certainly much better than we have right now. A Romney/DeMint ticket is one I can get excited about.
The establishment hates Jim DeMint. However, they would be more than happy to see him leave the Senate, so you can expect them to be supportive of this VP pick (unlike four years ago).
One other thing that is important for the Tea party movement is to focus on the congressional races. We might not be able to get a Tea Party president, but we can make sure that if it does come down to a President Romney, that he has a Tea Party Congress. If Congress passes a repeal of ObamaCare, a balanced budget amendment, entitlement reform, etc.; will a President Romney veto legislation passed by a Congress of his own party? I doubt it.
There is no reason to lose hope. While I remain of the opinion that a moderate like Romney is not going to accomplish all that needs to be done to save this country from the socialist path we are in, I do believe he will slow down and even reverse some of the damage that Obama has done to our country. And if the Tea Party movement continues to gain power in Congress, and if we have an important seat at the table of a Romney administration, then we can help to slowly turn our country around.
I have always argued that the battle we are in, against this destructive progressive movement, is going to last decades. The Tea Party movement must be ready to continue this fight for as long as it takes. And if we are able to follow a President Romney with a true Tea Party conservative president, then the full restoration of the United States of America will be complete.
Dr. Michael Santos
Physician and author