Conservative leaders on Wednesday lashed out at Mitt Romney for failing to secure the presidency, calling him a “weak moderate” and vowing to wage a war to put the Tea Party in charge of the Republican Party by the time it nominates its next presidential candidate.
“The battle to take over the Republican Party begins today and the failed Republican leadership should resign,” said Richard Viguerie, a top activist and chairman of ConservativeHQ.com, adding that the GOP must “never again” nominate a “big government established conservative for president.”
“Conservatives and Tea Partiers are just sick and tired of Republican leaders compromising on the state and national level with Democrats that grow the size of government,” Viguerie said. “We are going to hold their feet to the fire.”
“Tea Partiers will take over the Republican party in the next four years,” Viguerie vowed.
Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, one of the most prominent organizations within the fiscally conservative tea party movement, described Romney as a “weak, moderate candidate hand-picked by the country club elite Republican establishment,” who failed to make the kind of strong case for conservatism that would have won the election.
“This is not the death of the Tea Party,” asserted Martin.
"For those of us who believe that America, as founded, is the greatest country in the history of the world – a 'Shining city upon a hill' – we wanted someone who would fight for us," Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin wrote in an e-mail, quoting 40th president and conservative hero Ronald Reagan. "We wanted a fighter like Ronald Reagan who boldly championed America's founding principles... What we got was a weak moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country-club establishment."
Romney made concerted efforts during the campaign to reach out to the far-right Tea Party, most noticeably in choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate. His efforts, however, proved to fall short of securing the presidency and satisfying members of the extreme right.
The Tea Party Patriots said it had to work harder going forward to stop the "mushy-middle" members of the GOP from "getting rolled" by the left.
The group also told followers that they were "not going away," despite losses Tuesday night by tea party congressmen Allen West in Florida and Joe Walsh in Illinois, as well as a near-loss by Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Martin said the group would now turn its attention back to Congress, where it has been more successful in pushing its message of fiscal conservatism, where it would battle over the budget, the debt and against Obamacare.