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Romney Declares Himself 'Ideal' Tea Party Candidate


From ABC News:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Mitt Romney said today he’s “the ideal candidate” for the Tea Party movement because his stance on issues lines up “pretty darn well” with the movement he says will soon realize that GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich isn’t their best option for president.

“I recognize that the speaker has a big lead here,” Romney said of Gingrich in a press conference in South Carolina. “But I think as people take a closer and closer look, they’ll recognize that I reflect more effectively the positions which they hold on key issues.

“I think Tea Partiers may have listened to the first debate where we discussed the speaker’s compensation from Freddie Mac, for instance. And he said, I think he said that he got $300,000 from Freddie Mac and it was to work as an historian. And as time has gone on we find out it’s $1.6 million and he worked as a spokesman for, in providing support for Freddie Mac,” Romney said. “I think as tea partiers concentrate on that for instance, they’ll say, wow, this really isn’t the guy that would represent our views.”

The tea party, Romney said, is “anxious to have people who are outside Washington coming in to change Washington, as opposed to people who stayed in Washington for 30 years.”

“And I believe on the issues, as well, that I line up with a smaller government, a less intrusive government, regulations being pared back, holding down the tax rates of the American people, maintaining a strong defense, and so many Tea Party folks are going to find me, I believe to be the ideal candidate,” Romney said. “I sure hope so.”

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