Tea Party group concerned Palin, others using movement for personal gain

Wary that some are joining the grassroots conservative movement merely to sell books and enhance their celebrity status, a Tea Party group is putting the heat on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to make her presidential plans clear.

In a Tuesday statement, Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots paints former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as the prime example of that kind of behavior. The group, which consists of former military members, wants Palin to announce whether she will seek the White House or sit out the 2012 race.


“If not we are at risk of having major Tea Party speeches and events used as political rallies for a selected candidate [versus] a citizen based movement that forces the legislative agenda and serves as a fundamental check to the current corrupt culture in Washington, D.C.,” the group said in the statement.

Palin continues to play coy about whether she will enter the 2012 presidential race.

Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots wants potential candidates to “declare their intentions” before tethering their public actions to the Tea Party movement.

“The Tea Party is not a movement to sell books or make news for the sake of attention; we have serious issues facing our country,” the group said. “We can't have a few selected national candidates at major events that may give the impression they are representative of all in the Tea Party as possible candidates.”

The organization notes Palin’s views closely align with those held by members of the conservative movement.

That means the former Alaska governor could become “an instrumental voice going forward helping guide the discussion should she decide not to run,” according to the Tea Party group's statement.

The group said it wants to “keep the playing field level and ensure all candidates declared and hinting are responsible to us in the Tea Party,” according to the statement. That way, “we can maintain our independence and validity as the largest national movement of citizen patriots working to make our country better and more constitutionally centered,” the organization said.