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Tea Party Co-Founder Leahy: Ramp Up Get-Out-the-Vote Efforts

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 02:52 PM

By Andra Varin and John Bachman


Republicans can score a landslide victory over President Barack Obama in the 2012 election if they focus on get-out-the-vote efforts, a co-founder of the tea party movement told Newsmax.TV.

Michael Patrick Leahy dismissed suggestions that the tea party’s influence on the national stage is waning.

“The tea party movement is alive and well and thriving,” he declared. “There are 3,000 tea parties around the nation and every one of them is engaged in get-out-the-vote [drives]. This is going to end up being a victory for the most conservative candidate.”

He told Newsmax.TV that the GOP should take some pointers from the tea party strategy.

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“If the Republican establishment and conservative donors smarten up, they’re going to take some of their money and invest it in some of these get-out-the-vote efforts instead of negative campaigning,” Leahy said. “We’re going to see a landslide victory for conservatism in November.”

He said the 3,000 local tea party organizations were all working hard to make sure conservative voters go to the polls in November. “The tea party is going to make the difference in 2012,” he said.

While the tea party didn’t originally think too highly of Mitt Romney, the GOP front-runner has risen in tea part supporters’ opinions, said Leahy, author of the new book, “Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement."

“I think it’s a myth that the tea party supporters won’t vote for Mitt Romney,” he said.

While none of the four remaining Republican presidential candidates embody all of the tea party values, Leahy said, “any of these four are superior to President Obama.”

“With President Obama, we are basically going to see essentially the demise of the constitutional republic that we love,” he said.

Leahy said Romney had begun moving more toward tea party values, citing the former Massachusetts governor’s endorsement of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. Leahy doesn’t believe Ryan, R-Wis., goes far enough in cutting spending, but he calls the plan “a small, timid start in the right direction.”

The tea party co-founder said he believes federal government spending needs to be halved from its current level of 24 percent of the Gross Domestic Product to 12 percent of GDP. And he accused Obama and Democrats in Congress of “financially reckless extremism.”

“There are no constraints on federal spending under their world view,” he said “If you follow the Obama administration’s rate of acceleration,” we will be at spending levels comparable to the European basket cases like Greece.”

To purchase Michael Patrick Leahy's book "Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement," click HERE.


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