Perry, Huntsman And Bachmann Drop Out Of GOP Race

January 27, 2012 by staff 

Perry, Huntsman And Bachmann Drop Out Of GOP Race, In the days leading up to Newt Gingrich’s victory in the South Carolina GOP primary, his campaign announced that the former House speaker had locked up the endorsement of 100 Tea Party leaders from 25 states.
From left, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. All three pulled out of the GOP presidential contest.

The announcement was an attempt to solidify Gingrich’s Tea Party credentials and included several glowing quotes from Tea Party leaders. One of those highlighted was Katrina Pierson, a single mother from Dallas who is a member of the Dallas Tea Party Steering Committee and the Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Board.

But the former House speaker was not her first choice.
“I was originally a Michele Bachmann supporter,” Pierson said.

Pierson’s eventual acceptance of Gingrich is a common theme among the Tea Party faithful who have seen their favorite candidates disappear in recent months, and shown the limits that the movement can have on a presidential race.

Members of the movement have influenced countless local races around the country and were instrumental in sweeping Republicans into control of the U.S. House in 2010. But the GOP primary race has been a blow to the movement, which saw its favorites – such as Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin- drop out or, in Palin’s case, not get into the race at all.

“It’s reality setting in,” Pierson said. “We’ve only been around three years. We have to go through these things. It’s a learning process.”

The movement recorded its biggest victories to date in 2010, when 84 new Republicans were elected to the House compared to just nine new Democrats. Now Tea Party leaders are channeling their energies to replicate a similar feat in the Democratic-controlled Senate in this year’s election.

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