Republicans today are finding it harder to follow Ronald Reagan's 11th commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
FreedomWorks, a Washington D.C.-based tea party organization led by former House Majority leader Dick Armey, has ended its involvement and will protest Sunday's Reclaiming America tour in Concord, N.H., reports Yahoo news. This is because the event, sponsored by the Tea Party Express, will be headlined by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The decision was made because of Romney's support of expanding the role of government through government-run health care, Wall Street bailouts and spending hikes, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said in a statement. Those positions are unacceptable to the tea party principles of lower taxes, less government and more freedom.
FreedomWorks will join other, local New Hampshire tea party groups by staging their own rally in a nearby park.
Romney, once known as a centrist politician in a liberal state, has shifted rightward in a host of stances-including abortion, gay rights and climate change - in order to appeal to Republican primary voters.
But while Romney still remains a top tier presidential candidate, he has failed to attract significant support from the Tea Party wing of the Republican electorate, as candidates such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) have been more successful at courting the Tea Party movement.
The Tea Party Express called FreedomWorks announcement a misguided press stunt, according to Yahoo, and said that any presidential candidate who wants to speak at the forum is welcome. The group notes that Romney will also be attending a forum hosted by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), a staunch ally of the Tea Party movement.
Narrow mindedness is not the way to strengthen the tea party movement, the Tea Party Express said.