Romney Challenges Tea Party in RNC Floor Fight, Freedomworks Says Would "Strip" Grassroots of Influence
In a move which has alarmed the very grassroots Republican activists that Mitt Romney needs badly to win, the first day of the Republican convention saw a major floor fight erupt over new rules which would, in the words of Michael Duncan at Freedomworks: "strip grassroots activists of any meaningful ability to participate in presidential politics."
Freedomworks is a project of former US Representative Dick Armey, which is active in Tea Party politics and is associated with the electoral victories of candidates such as Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Rand Paul.
Buzzfeed reporter Zeke Miller is quoted in the Freedomworks post as saying:
"It offers the Republican Establishment a new tool to keep at bay Tea Party initiatives that threaten to embarrass or contradict party leadership and stray from a planned message."
Michael Duncan at Freedomworks writes in the post "Stop the Establishment from Rewriting the RNC Rules":
"The process has always been bottom-up, but Romney officials have rewritten the rules so that the nominee can stifle any dissent on the platform committee and even unseat delegates."
That alarm, and a call to members to mobilize against the new rules, has spread to Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, a conservative women's organization which opposes abortion and same-sex marriage.
The power play comes at a time when Romney is trying to solidify his support among this Republican Party faction which never completely trusted him in the first place. As the former governor of the liberal state of Massachusetts, Romney oversaw the passage of a precursor to "Obamacare," which some have dubbed as "Romneycare," and who for most of his political career has been pro-choice.