- (The Christian Post/Paul Stanley)
Former GOP front-runners Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will meet with the leaders from three of the largest tea party groups in Washington on Wednesday to discuss the American economy and the upcoming 2012 elections.
Billed as "A More Perfect Union Panel," the meeting will include leaders from TeaParty.net, Tea Party Nation and Tea Party Patriots. Tea party groups played a key role in the 2010 elections and are hoping to hold on to several seats that could be in jeopardy in 2012.
But recently, tea party activists took credit for defeating long-time GOP incumbent Dick Lugar in his Indiana primary last week, in part because they painted him as out-of-touch when it came to the fiscal concerns of many Americans.
In a conversation with Cain on Tuesday, he indicated there are two objectives Wednesday's meeting on Capitol Hill should produce.
"First, we want to remind the Members of Congress who were elected with tea party support in 2010 that we're still here and watching how they address the fiscal crisis our nation is facing now," Cain told The Christian Post.
"Second, that the tea party will be just as big a force this year as they were two years ago. People may not see the huge rallies they witnessed two and three years ago, but tea party folks across this nation are working just as hard today as they were then to elect fiscal conservatives."
As a result of some growing discontentment among tea party supporters, the Republican National Committee and the Republican House Caucus are concerned about defending several GOP seats against Democratic challengers in November, including some Members of Congress who were elected with tea party support in 2010 and are facing primary opposition.
But Cain downplayed the issue of some Republicans losing their seats this year.
"Listen, unless it's a 'make-or-break' issue; if someone votes for my issues 7 out of 10 times, then I consider them a political friend," said Cain. "As conservatives we've got to focus on the big picture and that entails defeating President Obama in November."
Both Cain and Bachmann advocated less government spending and the importance of reducing the nation's debt when campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2011. Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan is still being touted by several legislators as a means of reducing the nation's deficit.
Although he has yet to formally endorse the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, Cain said his actions speak louder than words in this case.
"I've said all along that I would support the Republican nominee and that's what I'm doing," confirmed Cain when asked about the fact he hasn't officially endorsed Romney.
"I don't know what difference it would make if I issued a press release saying such, but I can and do make a difference when I'm on the stump and speaking to people across this nation. And that's what I intend to do from now until the election in November."