Tuesday’s theme at the Republican National Convention was “We Built It,” but the night’s speakers did not reference or mention the Tea Party movement that built the current Republican majority in the House during the 2010 midterm elections. . . .
On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who, like his father, Ron, is one of the most prominent symbols of the Tea Party movement that revolted in part against the spending habits of Republicans and Democrats during the last decade, addressed the RNC.
But even Paul did not explicitly mention or make note, by name, of the Tea Party movement.
This has left many Tea Partiers to wonder if the Romney campaign and the RNC are deliberately trying to disassociate the Republican and Romney brands on the national stage from the Tea Party brand that has given them momentum against Obama. Tea Party members were also perturbed, to say the least, that the RNC passed rules concerning delegate selection and convention rules that stripped power away from the grassroots on Tuesday.
“Their words and their actions speak for themselves,” Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the influential Tea Party Patriots wrote. “The term ‘tea party’ appears to have been banned from the convention.”
This strategy is risky for Romney and Republicans for three reasons.
First, 2012 is going to be a base election, and Tea Party voters need to turn out enthusiastically for Romney for him to win. Second, should Romney win, this strategy could potentially create a rift between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party, making it tougher for Romney to govern and push his agenda. Third, should Romney lose, the feud with the Tea Party could potentially cause an even bigger internecine conflict.