Tea Party 'Generals' Counter 'War on Women'

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WASHINGTON -- Sarah Palin. Michelle Bachmann. Nikki Haley. They have all energized the conservative cause. 

Behind the scenes, women are also among the generals and foot soldiers in the Tea Party's fight for freedom.

Their Democrat opponents accuse the Republicans of a so-called "war on women." But these women tell a much different story.

The Tea Party blasted onto the political scene just three years ago. Since then, ordinary Americans have achieved some extraordinary surprises and victories.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley lead a long list of notable female politicians who march with the Tea Party.

Then there's Michele Bachmann, dubbed "Queen of the Tea Party."

And the view doesn't change behind the scenes: Amy Kremer leads the influential Tea Party Express, and Jenny Beth Martin runs the Tea Party Patriots.

"Before all of this, I was clipping coupons and looking at my spreadsheets figuring out where can I get the best deals and I still do that," Martin said. "I'm working hard to help our country get back on track."

This is all part of a strategy designed to show that women can be politically active while still embracing strong family values.

"We equip them with knowledge about our faith and our family and our freedoms," Sue Trombino, with Women Impacting the Nation, said. "And we also support those who take a stand for those Judeo-Christian values upon which our country was founded.

"And so what we do is to empower women with knowledge, but it has to be knowledge in God's truth," she said.

Organized by Sue Trombino, these ladies' groups educate themselves by going through books on the Constitution and our Judeo-Christian founding, like Matt Staver's Take Back America, David Barton's America's Godly Heritage, and Brad Bright's book called God Is the Issue.

"The problem is we've become a nation of non-thinkers, and Karl Marx said a nation of non-thinkers is easily led," Trombino said.

Day by day, the women get more involved. Fifty signed up to be poll watchers in the last election, and they expect to take even bigger steps in 2012.

"I'll put our gals up against anybody any day," Trombino said.

This message is getting attention. Smart Girl Politics garnered headlines for empowering conservative women. Then there's She-PAC, a new political action committee aimed at electing conservative women to office.

As for reaching new converts, there's still a long way to go, especially among independent women. In 2010, more than 40 percent of them said they liked the movement.

Today that number is down to 20 percent. So how do they grow? 

"I think David Barton's theme in his last book, with liberty comes responsibility, hits a note with mothers, with women in general," Susan McLaughlin, with Liberty Township Tea Party, said.

"We are responsible," she continued. "We can't sit back and wait for someone else to make sure there's a free country for our children and our grandchildren. It's our job. It's our responsibility."

There will also be a clear appeal to women of faith.

"I think that our focus needs to be more on spiritual things rather than on economics," Janet Cordero, with Concerned Women for America, said.

"Money's important and I think a lot of Christians are concerned about our economy and our national defense," she continued. "And all of those things are very important, but I personally see this as a spiritual battle that's going on for our nation."

"This is not political," Trombino said. "It's spiritual and if we don't bring back the country and be a better steward of the country that God has given us, we're going to lose this country."

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