“Romney seemed energized by the political coup, telling the Greenville audience: ‘Today I woke up with a big smile on my face.'”

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“Tea party leaders in the state suggested that Haley will pay for Friday’s move with a primary in 2014 – provided she doesn’t win herself a spot on the ticket or another post in a Romney administration, as tea partiers and Republican operatives say must be the explanation for the decision.

“‘The overwhelming sense that I get from talking to people is deep betrayal,’ said Karen Martin, the founder and organizer of the Spartanburg tea party, who has not endorsed a candidate. ‘She’s not going to be able to come back from this with the tea party. If there’s anybody credible who will run against her, I believe the tea party will support them whole-heartedly.’

“Martin predicted that Haley will face trouble even before then in trying to push through a governing agenda that’s already put her at odds with her former colleagues in the GOP-controlled legislature.

“‘She’s just lost her credibility,’ she said. ‘Anything that she tries to propose, most people in the past might not have looked too carefully at her, believing that she is a credible conservative. We’ve given her a pass on a few things, but that won’t happen any more.'”

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“I hope Governor Christie doesn’t get mad and call me again over this but it’s the same thing. It’s why he’s endorsing Romney. That’s the party’s choice and if you’re gonna be in the party, it’s just like I told you. When you are newly elected to Congress when you’re freshman, Republican or Democrat, the leadership brings you in and they tell you, “Okay, here’s the lay of the land. You want to go places here? You want to someday be a chairman of a committee? You want to have help with your reelection? Fine. You’ll vote the way we ask you to when we ask you to. If you want to be a maverick and a rogue and go off on your own, you’re more than welcome to do that but we’re not gonna send any Dole pineapple money you’re way when you’re in New York…

“She ran as a Republican. There’s no question, the Tea Party was instrumental, and she sought their help. She cultivated their support. She unquestionably took their financial contributions and support. But the election’s over, she won as a Republican. She has, obviously, perspirations to advance higher in the Republican Party. Now, next time you hear anybody tell you there isn’t a Republican establishment, just look at this instance here with Nikki Haley if she wants to be vice president.

“If she wants to be in somebody’s cabinet someday — a Republican — she’s going to have to do what the Republicans want her to do. If you are a mid-level sales manager for the XYZ Widget Company and you want to someday be in the executive suite, you are damn well going to do what the XYZ executive suite people tell you to do. (interruption) But no, but no. (interruption) Snerdley says I didn’t, but I created my own executive suite, see? I did not try to take over anybody else’s. That’s not realistic. We’re not gonna create a new party. We don’t even want to try to do that. That’s wilderness time. The Republican Party is something that’s gonna have to fought for and taken over by the Tea Party. It’s gonna be an active political objective and process.”

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“The grassroots conservative movement has yet to throw its support behind a Republican presidential candidate because ‘we don’t have the female Ronald Reagan running — and that’s Sarah Palin,’ said Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express.

“‘We haven’t engaged in presidential politics yet because the movement hasn’t coalesced around anybody, so we’re just sitting back and waiting,’ Kremer added.

“Predicting that a good slice of the country’s conservatives will not make up their minds until they are standing in front of the ballot box, Kremer singled out the former Alaska governor as ‘the only person out there right now that can truly excite the base.'”

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Click the image to listen.

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