by: Paul Bedard
Article from: Campaign 2012 – Washington Examiner
They had the biggest political impact of any movement in decades, but the nearly three-year-old Tea Party is at least five years away from having its own presidential candidate, according to one of the original founders.
For this year’s election, said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, “we’re looking at candidates who are part of the problem.” She said that 2016 “most likely” would see the first Tea Party candidate, should President Obama win reelection.
Martin, who with Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler wrote the new biography of the movement, “Tea Party Patriots, The Second American Revolution,” said that there are positions of Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum the Tea Party likes, but none are deserving of an endorsement. “We realize that there is no perfect nominee,” she said. And she dismissed rumors of a third party movement. “The Republicans used us for years so we’ll use them,” she said, pledging to stick with the GOP.
In an interview, she added that while the movment hasn’t been making headlines like it did in 2010, it is working hard behind the scenes to elect members to the Senate and House. “We have our work cut out for us,” she said.