Romney has cautiously courted the conservative movement in recent months, fully aware that many tea party supporters view him with suspicion due to his support for an individual health insurance mandate in Massachusetts. Five years ago, Romney signed into law a health care overhaul that some conservatives say provided the blueprint for President Obama's federal program.
In an attempt to reach out to wary conservatives, Romney spoke earlier this month at a bus tour in New Hampshire sponsored by the Tea Party Express, one of the movement's largest and most influential organizations. Dozens of protesters greeted his arrival in Concord. Several tea party groups, including the influential organization FreedomWorks, boycotted the event in protest of Romney's participation.