Rep. Michael Grimm has endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination and many of Grimm’s Tea Party supporters, some of whom have already criticized him for betraying their ultra conservative principles, are steaming mad.
Romney getting Grimm, who was elected as a darling of the right, to back him is quite an accomplishment for the Massachusetts governor.
Because of Romney’s more liberal record – including state mandated health insurance similar to President Obama’s own health care plan – he is widely considered unsalable to Tea Party true believers.
“The single most thing this country is starving for is leadership – leadership that is reinforced with the right balance of private sector and executive experience,” Grimm said in a statement. “Governor Romney epitomizes that balance, making him the right candidate to lead America during these tough times.”
In declining to support Tea Party-backed candidates such as Texas governor Rick Perry, Minnesota rep Michele Bachmann or Georgia businessman Herman Cain, Grimm said he thought Romney had the best chance to beat President Barack Obama in next year’s election – and that was more important than any political posturing.
Grimm’s show of support would be Romney’s first from an official who was elected with Tea Party approval.
The move has the possibility of enlisting more support for Romney from the Tea Party movement, as well as further alienating Grimm from his own base.
In what may be a sign of things to come, the movement’s local leadership is reportedly not taking this lying down.
According to RTT, several rallies have been planned, with at least one materializing, in protest of Grimm’s choice for prez.
U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm represents New York’s 13th Congressional District, which includes all of Staten Island. In Brooklyn, the 13th District includes parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Gravesend.