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Romney's not invited to the tea party -- yet

Many tea party members don't trust Mitt Romney
Want to know why I love the tea partyers? Because they stick to their ideological guns. And because they care about America first.

OK, well, maybe that second part isn't quite accurate.  They care about themselves first.  (But then, who doesn't -- besides people like Mother Teresa, I mean?)  And probably most of them then care about their families, and then people who are like them.

And then they care about America.

Want evidence?  Let me introduce you to one Jeff Havenner of Bettendorf, Iowa.

In a Times story Friday headlined "Tea party activists remain wary of Romney,"  Havenner said he was leaning toward voting for Texas Gov. Rick Perry but that he would support Mitt Romney if he were the Republican presidential nominee.

"Absolutely, without hesitation," he said. "Anyone who gets the [GOP] nomination gets my vote."

So what, you say? Of course a tea partyer would dislike our current president. 

But here's the kicker: Ol' Jeff is a 60-year-old retired federal employee.

Yep, Jeff wants to have his cake and eat it too. He's got his -- courtesy of us taxpayers. But he's going to vote for someone who wants to take away ours -- you know, someone who wants to repeal "Obamacare," cut Medicare and Social Security, etc.

After all, we can't afford that stuff -- especially not if we're going to keep funding Jeff's retirement.

Makes you wonder, though.  Did he see this headline in Thursday's Times: "Many Americans say they will have to work until they're 80"?

But probably he's OK with that. After all, while he's enjoying another 10 or 15 or who-knows-how-many years in taxpayer-provided retirement, he can shop at Wal-Mart and visit his favorite coffee shop and be waited on by folks his own age.

In fact, perhaps one of those workers will be Kathi Kelly, 58, a Davenport secretary (not yet retired, you'll notice; but she could probably catch on at Denny's when she's laid off) who was also quoted in The Times' story:  

[Kelly says she’ll vote for either] Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota or former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses. Kelly has ruled out caucusing for Romney because of his record as Massachusetts governor, notably his healthcare overhaul's individual mandate to have insurance.

"I'm not convinced he's a conservative," she said. Yet she would back Romney in the general election.

"I will support him wholeheartedly," Kelly said. "I don't want Obama to have another term. He's destroying our country."

Way to stay true to your beliefs, Kathi. (See, they told you that the tea party movement wasn't just a bunch of conservative Republicans.) You should go have coffee with Jeff.

Oh, right: Unlike him, you still have to work.

Well, here's hoping you're in good health. Because after you save the country from President Obama and the safety net he's trying to preserve, you're probably going to have to work a long time to provide for the Jeffs of America.

But I'm sure he'll thank you for your service.  And ask you for another slice of pie, and then the check.

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-- Paul Whitefield

Photo: Mitt Romney on the campaign trail.  Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images

 

 

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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.



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