Though Mitt Romney has sewn up the Republican presidential nomination, some tea party activists remain unconvinced of his conservative credentials and plan to abstain in November.
“I have heard from various folks in the tea party that they would rather stay home,” said Ana Puig, the state director of FreedomWorks, a conservative activist training group. “I’m hearing that from people all over the country and on Facebook.”
The Romney rejection stems from the deeply held belief by many conservatives that the former Massachusetts governor is really a moderate wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing.
Many conservatives worry that he would govern as a traditional big-government Republican.
“They think Romney is a RINO,” said Puig, referring to the oft-used and derisive acronym Republican In Name Only.
“You do have the very right-wing folks who are going to stay home, but a no vote is a vote for Barack Obama,” said Puig, who is also the co-chairwoman of Bucks County’s Kitchen Table Patriots tea party group.
Scott Burkholder, an organizer in the York County 912 Patriots, said he also has heard tea party members say they’ll pass on voting for Romney.