Leading House conservatives, including several Tea Party freshmen, threw their support behind Mitt Romney Tuesday, saying they were happy that the primary process was over and nothing is more important to them than beating Barack Obama.
Tea Party freshman Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, summed up his colleagues’ feelings saying he was “glad the process is over,” during a Capitol Hill meeting of a new congressional organization calling itself “Conversations With Conservatives.”
“I’m excited that we are going to be able to contrast the visions between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party,” Labrador said. “If you are looking at anything that Republican [candidates] are saying, they are in direct contrast to everything that Obama’s saying.
“It’s time for conservatives to get behind the nominee, and it’s time for conservatives to get excited.”
The members said the time for division was over and beating Obama now is the only thing that matters regardless of who each of them had supported during the primaries.
Asked whether they were enthusiastic about having Romney as the nominee, freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., said he had supported Texas Gov. Rick Perry early on, but he was now confident that competition had worked in the primary season and that the GOP now has the best possible nominee to face the president in November.
Issues such as the 5-4 split on the U.S. Supreme Court, health care, jobs and other important issues make having a united front against the president of key importance.
Firebrand Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., said the passion in the election will come down to a strong desire to get Obama out of the White House.
“Every day he’s in the White House, he’s destroying what makes this country great,” Walsh said. “I have no doubt that every conservative and movement person in this country is going to work their tails off to get him elected.
“[Obama’s] numbers in Illinois aren’t even that strong.”
Labrador encouraged Romney to reach out to conservative House members and to work with them.
Their comments came within hours of House Speaker John Boehner’s endorsement of Romney.