About 25 members and activists of assorted Tea Party organizations in New Hampshire held a counter-demonstration on Sept. 4, before the appearance of former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, stating that while the candidate was speaking at the Tea Party Express rally in Concord, they did not consider him a member of the movement.
Jerry DeLemus, whose Granite State Liberty PAC meets right near Romney’s summer home in Wolfeboro, said that neither the candidate nor campaign representatives have met with activists in New Hampshire, despite their requests and invitations.
“A photo op is just that, a photo op,” he said. “I can have my picture taken outside the Supreme Court and that doesn’t make me a Supreme Court justice.”
DeLemus said despite his voting record not being in line with Tea Party activists, they would still like to talk to Romney about why he made the decisions he made while governor.
Andrew Hemingway, the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, said Romney’s values were not the Tea Party’s values.
“The Tea Party stands for some very clear, very well defined, very well-articulated over time, principles and values,” he said. “They start with a limited government, individual responsibilities, and free markets. Gov. Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, his record stands in direct opposition of those principles.”
Hemingway also pointed to RomneyCare in Massachusetts, which he said eventually led to ObamaCare, and its individual mandate to buy insurance and added expenses was a violation of the principles. He stated that Romney raised fees and created more regulations as governor.
“The Tea Party stands in direct of opposition to Mitt Romney’s record,” he said.
Before the demonstration, Jackie Bodnar, a representative of FreedomWorks handed out a seven-page memo outlining problems with Romney’s multiple political positions during his gubernatorial time in Massachusetts and his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaign.