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Ron Paul Fans’ Tea Party Astroturf

The Examiner reports on a “Tea Party” protest against New York Congressman (and Giuliani-ally) Michael Grimm, which was prompted by Grimm’s endorsement of Mitt Romney today:

Members of the Tea Party are storming the Staten Island office of Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., on Monday to protest Grimm’s endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“Mitt Romney has a history of being on the wrong side of key Tea Party issues, including his support for the TARP Bank Bailouts and universal healthcare,” read a statement released Monday by NYC Liberty, the Tea Party group that is organizing the protest. …

“When there are several authentic Tea Party candidates in the presidential race, including Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Rick Perry, many Tea Partiers are asking, ‘Has Congressman Grimm sold us out for the GOP establishment? Has he already been co-opted by Washington?’” the statement continued.

Interestingly, the group characterizing itself as a “Tea Party” organization is actually NYC Liberty, a Ron Paul supporter group. It’s not exactly news when Ron Paul fans oppose Mitt Romney, and it certainly doesn’t hurt Romney’s image. But you know what does? Advancing the narrative that Tea Partiers won’t vote for Romney because he’s too liberal on fiscal issues. And that’s exactly what NYC Liberty seems to be doing with its “Tea Party” protest of Rep. Grimm.

One other thing. While some Tea Party groups have come out vehemently against Romney (FreedomWorks being the most prominent one), his poll numbers with self-identified Tea Partiers are actually pretty respectable. A CBS poll from last week showed Romney with 17 percent support among Tea Partiers, beating Perry, Gingrich, Bachmann, and – yes – even Ron Paul, who clocked in at just 2 percent.


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