The Mitt Hatter?


When NBC’s Brian Williams asked former Gov. Mitt Romney at the most recent Republican presidential debate if he considers himself “a member of the tea party,” it may have been the toughest question of the night.

As anyone who aligns himself with the small-government movement will tell you, the question was overly simplistic–the tea party is more of an intellectual concept than an actual centralized organization–but Williams’ question clearly struck a nerve. It was one of the only questions during the debate that Romney hesitated before answering, and his meandering response took far more time and effort than what some of his contenders would have expended in the same exchange.  Herman Cain, for instance, probably would have whistled by the query and just said, “Yes.”

madhattermittromneyOriginal image

“I believe in a lot of what the tea party believes in,” Romney said. “The tea party believes that government’s too big, taxing too much, and that we ought to get to the work of getting Americans to work. So I put together a plan with a whole series of points of how we can get America’s economy going again. Tea party people like that. So if the tea party is for keeping government small and spending down, and helping us create jobs, then, hey, I’m for the tea party.”

Interestingly, that’s about the same response that tea party-aligned lawmakers provided when I asked if they thought Romney espoused the principles of the movement. All basically gave the same answer: To paraphrase a popular Facebook characterization of a user’s relationship status, it’s complicated.

“That’s not a simple question,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a founding member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus, told me Thursday night as he rushed to a meeting in the Capitol building.


“What the tea party stands for, and what unites everybody in the tea party I think, is their concern about the debt, and the concern that we’re borrowing so much and printing so much to pay for our debt,” Paul said. “And as much as any politician comes toward that, I think they will be embraced. I don’t think there’s a clear-cut person out there other than Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin–people that are at the forefront of the tea party. But I don’t have anything negative to say about Romney.”

Among grassroots tea party activists, division over the question of supporting Romney is sharper.  […] When  the Tea Party Express invited Romney to speak at an event earlier this month, members of FreedomWorks, a separate tea party group, organized a counter protest in the same area.


“The principles of the tea party are incredibly simple,” Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, another founding member of the caucus, told me. “It’s all about the fact that the federal government is too big and too expensive, and anyone who supports that proposition can barely align themselves in one way or another with the tea party.”  But when I asked if Romney passed that test, there was nothing simple about it. Lee paused, sighed, and said that he didn’t have time to offer a complete answer to the question. (He was running into a Senate vote and the deadline was fast approaching.) But Lee took a stab at it anyway: “He understands free markets. He understands how to generate revenue. He understands the limitations of government.”


When I asked Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, also a freshman senator who  won election on widespread support from the tea party,  he said he was reserving judgment.

“We’ll see based on how he conducts himself on the campaign,” Johnson said.


Just like Romney during the debate, no one in the tea party’s front ranks could just say, “Yes.”


Filed under humor, Mitt Romney, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, Senate, snark, Wordpress Political Blogs

32 responses to “The Mitt Hatter?

  1. Interesting. As the Tea Party is using the Republican party, the party is using the Tea Party. Of course it is all a matter of convenience for whichever side.

    Meanwhile, Mitt is trying to play as many sides as he can. As Jon Stewart said, “He wants to be president so bad, Al Gore can taste it.”

    • that was one of jon stewart’s best lines evah! i remember thinking the same thing about capt underpants, and now about jon huntsman. they all want to surpass what their daddies did, and you can almost smell the desperation emanating from them.

  2. what is even more amazing is the fact that as much as mittens wants to be accepted by the ‘baggers – they want nothing to do with him. he is just not racist and insane and greedy enough for them – even when he says he is a racist,insane dirtbag they keep moving the goal line

    • it’s the mormon thing. even if he was racist and insane enough for them, he’d still be a mormon. funny how the rethugs don’t mind bigotry until it’s aimed at themselves.

  3. jeb

    Poor Mittsie, he’s just a cup of very weak tea that everyone feels obligated to drink even as they hold their noses doing it. The tea leaves just aren’t going to look favorable for him.

  4. jean-philippe

    Why doesn’t he save time and answer “yes and no, pick one” to every question? Live the flip-flop, Mitt…

  5. maggiejean

    The Mitt Hatter at the Tea Party. Perfect. What a sick bunch the tea baggers are. I had to RT this:

    So will #GOPdebate applause lines always feature the death of Americans? #p2 #tcot
    1 hour ago

  6. Mitt could not spill it, a spot of tea…

  7. Here’s to wishing Willard a very merry unbirthday!

    • N-V: great videos lately, keep ’em comin…..Sis had the debate on out of curiosity, what a bunch of dribble. No one from Samaria in that crowd. And the underlying semantic occured to me after hearing one of the Moes going on about how awful s/s deductions are. It’s not the FICA takes the money that bugs them, the taking is OK but THEY should be keeping your money for you. Then it could be invested by the job creators on that mega-coaster “The Capitalist”, that goes up and down in a thrilling series of peaks and valley (47 since 1817). I can just hear the car catching the chain to take us up to the breath taking view at the top as we drop down, arms outstreched, everyone sceaming, conservatives standing up….#48, here we come!

      • i think, or, at least, i hope, that a lot of people, especially more mainstream rethugs, will be shocked at the reaction to killing, whether it be someone convicted of murder or someone who didn’t have the foresight (or the money) to buy health insurance.

    • i’ve never seen that version of alice. i mean, i know it exists, but i never saw the whole thing. i loved ed wynn.

  8. He wants every vote possible even though the Tea Party hates him.

    Those are some awesome flip flops that he should be wearing.

  9. John Erickson

    So is it true there’s been a run on eBay right before each GOP debate, trying to buy up all the “Magic Eight-Balls” they can find? (Yeah, I stole it from somewhere, can’t remember where. 😀 )
    By the by, Nonnie, did you see that you’re in violation of copyright over on your “pork” post for stealing the Pork Council Logo? Or so says some silly comment….

    • I’ll go tell him that parody is protected under fair use.

      • I did. I also found something to use in a follow up in case the Copyright Pig decides to argue.
        L.A. Dodgers Sue Over Brooklyn Burger Logo

        “Landi’s Pork Store in Flatlands has been using the font since they opened in 1958, and when asked if they would change their logo, owner John Landi Jr. said in comically Brooklyn form, “Oh, fuck them! What do they have to do with Brooklyn? They left Brooklyn years ago. We don’t let nobody push us around. Change our logo? Oh, fuhgeddaboudit. Tell them to come down here, we’ll straighten it all out.” Oy vey! Gabagool! Een Draght Mackt Maght! Etc.”

        If he complains, I’ll taunt him with this.

        • thanks for having my back, neon vincent! i didn’t even check in here earlier, because i’m wounded. i have no idea what i did, but when opening a bag of twizzlers, something happened to my middle finger (figures it would be the one i use the most), and it’s been killing me ever since. i don’t see anything. it’s not discolored or anything, but any kind of pressure hurts like hell. i think i ripped something underneath my fingernail. typing is not fun. i didn’t think i’d be able to do a poster, but i bit a bullet and managed. now i have it bandaged so that it doesn’t hurt too much when i type, i just make a thousand typos per minute.

          anyhoo, i did type a reply to the commenter over in the other post. i can’t believe that you found that story! that’s hilarious! 😆 you’re amazing!!!!!

    • yeah, i was waiting for someone to come over and threaten me. that poster is the subject of debate over at a discussion board, and they are getting a posse together to come after me. meanwhile, the only attention that poster has gotten in months is what’s been coming over from that thread.

  10. Of course another PRIMO post.

    There just has to be something made to entertain yet set the record as clear as can be out of the TEA BAGGER DEBATES last night. Even hearing it replayed today by THOM HARTMAN literally made me so dam nauseated that I gagged it back down.

    What may you ask caused such???


    Days all one really needs to know about Tea Bagging Bastards. A pox on them all is too dam good????

    Oh please tell it like it is.

    • like i said above, curtis, i hope other people had their eyes opened and realize what the teabaggers are really like and what they embrace. they cheer killing people. disgusting.

    • This is why, even though I don’t like Romney all that much, I would prefer for him to be Obama’s opponent in the general election. I’m worried about President Obama’s chances of being re-elected due to the bad economy, so I’m examining the Republicans to see which ones will not make me vomit quite as much. The Tea Party and Perry/Bachmann fill me with a blank horror.

      • I have come to conclusion, based on BS in Washington the last month or so, that ANY RETHUGLICAN will march to Tea Party tune. That means ALL OF THEM ARE DOUBLE DANGER just waiting to dance the TP TUNE.

      • if i had to choose one, it would be huntsman. i think he’s the most reasonable. he doesn’t have a shot in hell, and i think this is just practice for 2016. of the others, romney is a shithead and a phony, but he doesn’t scare the crap out of me like the others do.

        • I agree, he’s a much less nauseating option, but he’s also “the 1% guy” or something like that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any of the Republican candidates would be good for the country. It’s just that some of them paralyze me with mind-numbing terror and some don’t.