Conservative Elite Remain Cool to GOP Field

Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 11:36 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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You might think that the top three Republican presidential candidates — Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Michele Bachmann — offer enough diversity to make all Republicans feel they have a solid candidate to support. But conservative intellectuals aren’t convinced, Politico reports.

Publications written by and for the conservative intelligentsia, from The Wall Street Journal to The Weekly Standard, have given strong voice to this dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates.

As for the Journal, it blasted Romney in May for the healthcare plan he implemented as governor of Massachusetts. Last week, an editorial in the paper suggested that Minnesota Rep. Bachmann and Texas Gov. Perry can’t be elected, stating that “now would be the time” for “someone still off the field to step up.”

Meanwhile, backers of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who withdrew from the campaign after a poor showing in the Iowa Straw Poll, are still looking for a replacement, The Hill reports.

Everyone from his own staff to grass-roots activists may keep their distance for a while, just as Pawlenty himself is now doing.

“There are an awful lot of people who will sit on the sidelines and wait to see how many candidates get in," Jim Kurtenbach, a former co-chairman of the Iowa GOP, who stepped down from that post to support Pawlenty, told The Hill.

Pawlenty sought support from all wings of the party, so his supporters may disperse to several aspirants. "It's possible that his supporters will endorse different candidates," said Alex Conant, former spokesman for the campaign. "You've seen some of our supporters going to Huntsman, going to Romney, going to Perry, even some to Ron Paul."



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