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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Tea Party And The RNC 'The Beginning Of A Relationship'

A scheduled one hour meeting turned into a four hour discussion between Tea Party activists and the Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday, with a member of the Tea Party who had been there, Karin Hoffman of D.C. Works For Us, a Tea Party organization in South Florida, stating after the meeting "We believe in this meeting that we were heard. It's the beginning of a relationship"

Hoffman also makes it clear, that while their may be a relationship, there is no way the Tea Party movement will be "absorbed" by the RNC.

Steele, however, won over many in the group when he pledged that the Republican Party will not to meddle in local races - especially GOP primaries featuring candidates backed by Tea Party activists. At one point in the meeting, the divisive Senate primary battle in Florida between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist was mentioned. The chairman said the role of the national party is to back whoever becomes the Republican nominee.

"He is leaving it up to the people, and that's what we want," said Cheryl Couture, a member of the 9.12 Project from Naples, Florida. "We don't want people interfering with the process, because that's not American."

Steele's statement after the meeting:

"We share a common purpose in stopping President Obama's agenda and standing up for principles such as smaller government, lower taxes, free enterprise, and the Constitution. Moving into the midterm elections this fall, I look forward to continuing to build on this discussion and to work to elect officials who will fight to protect the principles which they and a majority of Americans support."