1. There is no viable anti-Romney.
2. DeMint's supporters wouldn't follow him supporting Romney.
From the article:
Anyone who expected he might endorse Mitt Romney hasn’t been paying much attention to either the GOP race or DeMint’s role in the Tea Party movement. When DeMint did offer supportive words for Romney, he was beset by angry activists and soon backed off. DeMint is not about to sacrifice his role as a prominent Tea Party leader by endorsing the not-Tea Party candidate, Mitt Romney. DeMint and Romney most likely both know such an endorsement would be worthless in any event. DeMint’s followers wouldn’t follow his lead on this one; Romney supporters and potential supporters are not the type to be swayed by the hard-line DeMint.I would have liked for Romney to receive DeMints endorsement, but Rubin's analysis makes sense. Every strong TEA party-supporter who is in Congress who has endorsed Romney has been accused of being a RINO, and DeMint doesn't want that to happen to him.
The real news here is that DeMint couldn’t find anyone else to back. If he could champion a viable Tea Party type, he certainly wouldn’t hesitate to be kingmaker. But really, who’s he going to back? It’s evident the Herman Cain phenomenon is dissolving. (In his Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Newt Gingrich Saturday, Cain, in passing on the first question about Medicare, once again showed he’s not well-informed enough to be a credible blogger, let alone a presidential candidate.)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry was supposed to be the credible Tea Party-friendly alternative to Romney. DeMint’s decision not to give him a hand highlights just how far Perry’s fortunes have fallen. One has to think back to the forum DeMint hosting over Labor Day. Perry had accepted, campaigned in South Carolina and then canceled at the last minute, citing the Texas wildfires, even though DeMint offered to flip the order of speakers and let Perry go first. From hindsight, after a series of dreadful debates, one can surmise that Perry wasn’t all that anxious anyway to be grilled on constitutional issues. But standing up DeMint probably didn’t endear him to the South Carolina senator.
Rubin also makes another point:
If the Tea Party wants electable rock-ribbed conservatives they better find ones who can hack it in the national spotlight. No Sharron Angles. No Christine O’Donnells. The talk show hosts that defend these characters lead conservatives into a dead end.When they lose, the talk show hosts can be aggrieved and blame the media. But conservatives will have enabled Democrats to win.
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