On December 28, 2011 Iowa state senator Kent Sorenson resigned as Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman and gave his endorsement to Ron Paul, saying a that Paul was “most conservative” of the top-tier Republican candidates, and that he’s a better bet to beat Romney, the ex-governor of a liberal state who has struggled to win over the tea party.
“There is a huge anti-Romney sentiment,” said Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, who endorsed Newt Gingrich in September.
“The Iowa tea party movement is opposed to Romney because we just believe that he’s probably big government and more of a liberal Republican, although he has some conservative values and he’s a good man,” said Charlie Gruschow, a tea party activist in Des Moines who advises Gingrich’s campaign.”
He called me. There were rumors that he was going to defect because the Ron Paul campaign was actually in trouble after the Sioux City debate that Fox had hosted. That’s when I took on Ron Paul over the issue of a nuclear Iran.
Then, the next day, we started a 99-county tour all across Iowa. And what we saw was remarkable. People were very upset by what they heard Ron Paul say. They saw that he would make a dangerous president. And we literally saw thousands of people over the last 10 days switching away from Ron Paul and over to me because they understood that he wouldn’t keep American safe.
And so when that happened, I think the Ron Paul campaign got nervous. They were working with Kent Sorenson. And Kent had then called me to apologize, because he said he was sorry for putting us in a situation, that he had been offered money, a lot of money by the Ron Paul campaign. He said he was tempted because he said everyone else has pulled out in Iowa; why wouldn’t I? But he said I’m not going to do it. It’d be the wrong thing.
The next day, he joined me for an event in Indianola, Iowa, and he assured me again that he was on board. But, after that, he drove to a Ron Paul event. And the Ron Paul campaign issued an extensive press release that clearly wasn’t spontaneous. And then Kent announced that he was switching.
This is, really, I think, an effort on the part of the Ron Paul campaign to make it look like my campaign was in trouble, when, in fact, just the opposite is true. We have been gaining incredible momentum, including, last night alone, we had 150 new people say that they were going to sign up and speak for me at the caucuses.
We were at an event last night — 300 people came out at one event. At the next stop, it was with 250. We have enormous momentum.”
Doubt Bachmann’s outlook, her campaign is reeling from this blow and it is likely the straw that will break her back in Iowa.