Home > Elected Officials, New Media, Politics > Tea Party Express Holds Romney Rally In Flagstaff

Tea Party Express Holds Romney Rally In Flagstaff

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Nearly 150 people turned out at McCoy Motors in Flagstaff tonight for a Tea Party Express Romney / Ryan 2012 rally.  This event was sponsored by the Flagstaff Tea Party and The Coconino County Get Out The Vote Committee.

(Tea Party members wave Romney signs at tonight’s tea party express rally)

Compared to previous Tea Party Express events in Flagstaff, tonight’s rally was sparsely attended. In 2009 over 1,000 people rallied at a Tea Party Express bus stop at the old Honda dealership on Route 66. The Arizona Daily Sun even ran a headline Tea Party Rally Draws 1,000 saying that “more than a thousand people turned out”.

(10-01-12 EDIT: The Flagstaff Tea Party says 300 people were at the Tea Party Romney rally this week. I made several counts throughout the evening and never saw more than 150 people there. I may be off a little but I think 300 is wishful thinking on their part.)

Tonight proved that the early tea party energy and creativity has largely subsided.

At the 2009 rally handmade grassroots signs were seen in every direction. Tonight, only three handmade signs were visible. In their place were dozens of Romney 2012 signs and “The Tea Party Is Alive” signs which were provided by the Tea Party Express team.

(Coconino County Republican Chairperson Diana Arendt reminds tea party members that a third party protest vote is a vote for Obama)

(Two of the homemade signs at tonight’s rally)

I spoke with one attendee who said that he had to keep reminding himself that he was at a tea party event because the atmosphere felt like he was at a standard Republican rally. He was expecting more…especially in an important election year.

What happened to the grassroots energy and feeling of an uprising by the people that had been prevalent at so many past tea party events?

“Just goes to show how much things can change in a few months.” Another man said. “I never thought I would vote for Romney.”

Earlier this year, Romney was near the bottom of the list of candidates the Tea Party was willing to vote for.

(America’s Comeback Team)

In January, the Flagstaff Tea Party surveyed their members with the question:

“If the primary were held today, which of the following Republican presidential candidates would you support? ”

This was the response:

Newt Gingrich 30%

Rick Santorum 20%

Rick Perry 16%

Ron Paul 13%

Michele Bachmann 11%

Mitt Romney 8%

Jon Huntsman 1%

8% could hardly be considered a shining tea party endorsement of Romney 2012.

(Romney sign outside tonight’s tea party event)

But things change fast in politics. These days it seems “In Romney We Trust” could easily be the new tea party slogan.

“Romney is the last hope to save the country.” A woman from the Tea Party Express team yelled into the microphone. The crowd responded with cheers. Clearly, the tea party holds Romney in much higher esteem now than they did a few months ago.

The Tea Party Express even wrote a little song praising Romney /Ryan. It goes like this:


If anything can be taken from tonight’s Tea Party Express rally in Flagstaff it’s that the tea party movement has chosen to put all of their eggs in the Romney basket. On November 6th we’ll see if this strategy pays off for them or not.


  1. September 30, 2012 at 8:49 am

    No doubt the Tea Party has become as irrelevant as Congress has become.

  2. Joy Staveley
    September 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Actually there were over 300 at last night’s rally. We never had 1,000 at one of our Flagstaff rallies (not sure where you got that number from). Elisha, since you are a registered Republican and an elected Republican PC, I wonder why you don’t like Republicans. Why would you want to be part of the Republican Party if you disapprove of the Republican platform? Everyone I talked to thought the event last night was wonderful.

  3. jason
    October 1, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Maybe it’s not so much the republican platform she does not like. If indeed what your claiming is true. Maybe for her like me… its on how the republican party fouly treated Ron Paul, his message and his believers. The true and original Tea Party of the 2000’s. Maybe because of the ignorance of the republican party is so evident that in 2008 the party really thought it had a shot with Mccain and NOW you think you got a shot with good ole flip flopping MItt???
    In this story it does not come off that she does not “like” the party, but instead telling the truth. 100 is lame and your 300 count is NOT really any better. So you ONLY have about 48 days of “hoping’ ole Mitt can pull it off before reality hits you. In the meantime do NOT count on my OR the 23 other NEW republicans that I helped switch over from other parties to vote on Mitt…. instead you can count our votes for Gary Johnson.

  4. Bill Tippett
    October 1, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    So basically Joy there is no room for dissenting view point within the party? I’ve heard that’s the new American way but I’m having a hard time accepting it. What are you going to do about those young upstarts like Justin Amash and Rand Paul.

  5. john
    October 2, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    johnson cant win, so paul strategy is to get publicity and” change conciousness” at some indeterminate date?
    why not elect romney over socialist obama, at least right wing congress could get some bills through? what am I missing?

  6. Danne
    October 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

    The Republicans sold the Tea Party out and the Tea Party enthusiasts from 2010 know it! That’s accountable for the lack of attendance and enthuisiasm. Screw the Republicans! Vote Gary Johnson! Quit being played for a sucker.

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