The Atlantic has a photo and coverage of a 400-person-small campaign event held in Philadelphia and reveals a stunning lack of actual tea Party support:
And so, on Monday, Romney attempted to thread the needle in Philadelphia. Before an unusually pro-Romney Tea Party group, he gave a speech that was longer on symbolism than persuasion, an attempt to show that the Tea Party is with him without necessarily showing that he is with the Tea Party.
The Independence Hall Tea Party Association, consisting of Tea Party groups from Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, was the first such group to endorse Romney, it claims. There were no “Don’t Tread on Me” flags or tricorne hats to be seen among the well-dressed, paying crowd at a downtown science museum, and many of the 400 attendees said they identified more as Republican Party activists than Tea Party members. One hesitates to generalize about a diverse grassroots movement, but this didn’t feel like the real Tea Party.
[...]Sam Rohrer, a Tea Party-aligned former Pennsylvania state legislator now running for U.S. Senate, said it wasn’t a representative Tea Party crowd. Most of the grass-roots Tea Party organizations in the state supported Rick Santorum before he suspended his campaign last week, and are now somewhat adrift as they try to assess where to go from here, Rohrer said in an interview.
“Ultimately, they’re not going to pull the lever for Obama, but there’s movement within the movement right now,” he said. “Mitt is going to have to woo them. Getting their vote is one thing; getting their impassioned commitment is another thing, and the impassioned commitment is what it takes to win.”
It’s starting to become something of a running joke with Romney’s crowd sizes as the media morons keep beating the inevitability drum and praying the voters will be blind to the Ron Paul revolution.
Since his campaign is now trying to claim he has some Tea Party groups supporting or endorsing him — the only question to ask is why won’t they come out to these campaign events in full force?
Update: Independence Hall Tea Party PAC — the Tea Party group that will be the first of many of these kinds of announcement — boasts on their website “On 8/28/10, the Independence Hall Tea Party sent 28 buses carrying over 1500 Patriots to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally. No other group sent more.”
I’m betting barely a fourth of their members bothered to show up to the rally they hosted for Romney, and that’s right in their own town.
Update II: Anonymous “Jack” in the comments said the event was sold out, but… The National Franklin Memorial has a reception capacity of 700… so uh, argument over. Thanks for daring to impugn upon Hammer of Truth’s reputation and failing.
Again, that’s 700 capacity… 400 showed up. Reality is that Ron Paul’s supporters would have easily packed that place and had people overflowing outside regardless of “symbolic” whatsit.