Quotes of the day

“Along with a coalition of a dozen other Tea Party and liberty groups, FreedomWorks also organized a protest before Mr. Romney’s speech Sunday. But attendance at the protest was sparse, drawing a little more than a dozen supporters…

“‘It seems to me that Mitt Romney is treating this as a photo opp to check the box and to get the photo opp that he’s cool with the Tea Party — and he’s not cool with the Tea Party,’ said Adam Brandon, a spokesman for FreedomWorks. ‘All of our activists are pretty peeved he would even try to embrace the Tea Party message.’

“Mr. Brandon added: ‘I think the only reason is because he’s slipping in the polls. He’s ignored us until this point. He’s ignored all our issues.'”

***

“Asked by a voter at a town hall meeting what in his record makes him better than all the other Republicans running for president, Perry answered that no one in the field can hold a candle to him on job creation, given the number of jobs created in Texas during his governorship.

“Then he targeted Romney, his chief rival in the nomination fight, with this: ‘There’s going to be some that get up and say, ‘Well, I created jobs.’ And that’s true. One in particular that’s created jobs all over the world. But while he was the governor of Massachusetts he didn’t create very many.’ Some in the audience laughed at the line…

“Perry tried to set himself apart from Romney, who comes from a wealthy family, by striking a more populist chord.

“‘We weren’t rich in material things,’ Perry said of his early years, ‘but we were rich in faith and family, and that’s my foundation.'”

***

“Sarah Palin’s speech Saturday in Iowa against ‘corporate crony capitalism’ left her presidential ambitions uncertain, but it made clear a big gap in the 2012 GOP field: the lack of a strong conservative populist…

“When Ms. Palin was asked afterward her speech if she had Mr. Perry in mind, she replied, ‘I want all of our GOP candidates to take the opportunity to kill corporate capitalism that is leading to this cronyism, which is ruining our economy.’

“The brief exchange suggests Ms. Palin recognizes a window for a populist message amid grim monthly employment reports, especially since the two candidates ahead of her in national polls – Messrs. Perry and Romney – both have close ties to big business.”

***

“‘Let’s talk straight about some of the problems in trying to grow this movement that is so needed,’ said Palin [today in New Hampshire]… ‘It’s media-incited internal squabbles, unfortunately, and we can nip some of that in the bud right here and right now because we’ve got a lot of work to do, constitutionalists. Our challenges today are too great. We simply don’t have time to be bogged down in internal conflicts and friendly-fire conflicts.’…

“Palin’s appeal for Tea Party unity may also have been an effort to tamp down the fallout from some thinly veiled remarks she made in Iowa that appeared to be aimed at Texas Gov. Rick Perry — the current front-runner for the Republican nomination…

“‘I say, let’s invite those candidates in who are bold enough to take on the tough challenges caused by an out of touch, out of control centralized government and those who are humble enough to admit that they need you and they’ve seen the light,’ Palin said at the rally here. ‘We need people with a proven record of reform and are willing to take on the tough challenges — to run into danger, if you will, and not run away from it.'”

***

“The tea party icon took a swipe at Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who rearranged his campaign schedule to speak at two tea party events this week, and implied he is a reluctant convert to the activists’ power and scope.

“‘Now, we’re seeing more and more folks realize the strength of this grass-roots movement,’ [Palin] said. ‘And they’re wanting to be involved. I say right on. Better late than never – for some of these candidates especially. Okay?'”

***

Click the image to watch.