WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It's no secret that Tea Party activists are generally panicked by the prospect of a Mitt Romney nomination.
But Andrew Breitbart--the right-wing blog king who has championed the conservative grassroots since its rebirth in 2010--is surprisingly conciliatory in his approach to the GOP frontrunner.
After Breitbart's inflammatory speech at CPAC Friday evening, BuzzFeed asked him if he shared his conservative cohorts' nervousness about Romney.
"Oh sweet Lordy, no," responded Breitbart, founder of BigGovernment.com and other conservative sites. "No, not ever remotely."
He went on: "Do I think he's kind of tone deaf to what these people want? Yes. Oh well. Everyone wanted him in 2008 over McCain; I remember when he was the conservative candidate."
He cautioned conservative activists against imposing a "purity test" on the Republican presidential field.
"From my perspective, there are too many people holding the conservative movement to the impossible post-2009 Tea Party standard when we lived in a completely different political reality," he said. "It's sort of like we all got married and now we're finding out about our spouse's past. It's like, 'Wow, you stripped in Tallahassee? That's not good..."
"None of these people is perfect," he continued. "And I'm not sitting there freaking out about the sins of their past."
He said he thinks Romney, like the other candidates, would harnnass the power of the Tea Party once in office--as long as he has Congress on his side.
That's why "I'm more worried personally about the Senate races than I am about who we pick" for president, he said.
At this point, a conservative activist standing nearby interjected: "But don't we want a reflexive conservative? Someone where it oozes out of him? That's where it gets muddy for Romney..."
Breitbart shrugged: "I'm not looking for perfection, personally."
McKay Coppins is a senior writer for the BuzzFeed News politics team, and the author of The Wilderness, about the battle over the future of the Republican Party.
Contact McKay Coppins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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