Tea Party still warming up to Mitt Romney

5:26 AM, Jul 2, 2012   |    comments
Tea Party protesters gather April 15 in Washington.
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(CBS News) -- Tea Party supporters wrapped up their second annual "We the People" convention in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday night.

Given Thursday's Supreme Court decision on health care, and November's presidential election, there was no lack of material up for discussion.

One tea party convention sponsor called it "the most-crucial election in the history of our lives."

Still, enthusiasm for the presumptive Republican nominee in Columbus remained mixed.

Kelly Sanders, a nurse and a registered independent, said: "I believe that I am being forced to vote for the lesser of the two evils, which would be Mitt Romney."

Retiree Edward Vincent, an Ohio Republican, expressed similar reservations.

"He is not my original choice...because he was a career politician and some of his stuff that he did in the past was not conservative enough," Vincent said.

But Peter Vessenes, a Republican from Minnesota, believes the health care ruling may help his group coalesce.

"I believe that Governor Romney's support will increase among the grass roots people, Tea Party or not, simply because there is a lot of very vocal emotional opposition to the idea of federal mandated and controlled health care," Vessenes said.

The Supreme Court ruling also motivated Romney donors. In the 24 hours after the ruling, the campaign says it took in $4.6 million.

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