A Newsweek article posted at the The Daily Beast reports Palin and the Tea Party crowd seem plenty miffed at Romney:
What galls the Tea Party activists is the sense that Romney represents a lost opportunity for their agenda of less government, flatter taxes, and constitutional restraint. Facing a vulnerable president saddled with a bad economy and a crisis in the public sector, they feel stuck with a guy served up by Republican elites who speaks conservatism with an establishment accent. Worse, in this view, Romney seems incapable, or unwilling, to even defend himself, as the Obama campaign machine highlights his offshore bank accounts and his career at Bain Capital.And then there's this:
“Romney’s just not a fighter,” says Jenny Beth Martin, head of the Tea Party Patriots, the largest of the activist groups. “That’s why it would be good for him to have someone like Palin speaking at the convention. He needs to do something to rile up his base, to make them enthusiastic. And I don’t mean just the Tea Party. I mean die-hard Republicans. I live in the second-most-Republican county in the state of Georgia, and the folks around here are not enthusiastic about him.”
Palin shares much of these same reservations about Romney. “Romney has said before that he doesn’t want to have to light his hair on fire,” Palin said on Fox last week. “Well, there are a lot of his base supporters, independents, who are saying, ‘Well, light our hair on fire, then!’” Palin’s objections to Romney are not so much about the man himself—she speaks of him respectfully, as he does about her—but about who, and what, he represents. Romney was the choice of the party’s elites, whom Palin has regarded with open disdain ever since her rough treatment during the 2008 campaign. They are some of the same people who anonymously disparaged Palin as a clueless bumpkin, and some of them are now helping to run Romney’s campaign. When unnamed Romney aides tell reporters that Romney will likely go with a “safe” choice for vice president because of the 2008 “disaster,” Palin notices.The piece notes they were also plenty pissed over the "the mandate is a penalty, not a tax" comments from the Romney Campaign. Romney hasn't invited Palin to the GOP Convention in Tampa and she has curiously declined to endorse him. They also appear to be turning away from him and focusing on Senate and Congressional races.
My view is that the Tea Party folks will show up and vote for Romney simply because they detest Obama more than anything else. That's reason enough, if you're Mitt Romney, to pay them no mind. None of them are talking seriously about boycotting Romney at the ballot box. However, the fact that many of them are being quite vocal about their displeasure with Romney is an indication that his campaign is going to have to work to turn that vote out. Without a big, big turnout with the White conservative evangelical vote, Romney's uphill road to the White House gets steeper. He could light up conservatives with a VP nominee like Jim DeMint. But if things continue like they've been going this week, I suspect conservative enthusiasm for the Wall Street Mormon from Massachusetts is only going to decline further without such a pick.