The tea party's dilemma: What to do about Romney?

“I honestly don’t know whether the movement will perform well” in the presidential election, said Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, a national coalition of local groups. “I don’t think anybody is looking for a third party candidate, but anybody who would count out that possibility, I just think is ignorant.”…

Some take issue with Romney’s vacillation on social issues like gay rights and abortion. But the biggest tea party knocks on Romney are his position that global warming merits action to curb heat-trapping emissions, and especially his role in enacting a Massachusetts state healthcare overhaul.

“There are certain issues that are so fundamental to tea party values that you really can’t be on the other side of, and Romney is, and that’s the problem that Jon Huntsman will have,” Kibbe said, signaling likely tea party opposition to the former Utah governor…

“There’s no chance that we’re all going to unite,” said Stockton, who also has worked with the Tea Party Express. “Anytime that you have strong personalities with all of these differing groups, I’m not holding my breath to see them all get along and play nice. However, I would fully expect that whoever the nominee is – as long as it’s not Romney – that everybody will probably end up being on the same page.”