Mitt Romney To Tea Party: No Third Party Candidacies

Once -- and possibly future -- presidential candidate Mitt Romney is urging Tea Party members not to run as third party candidates.

Romney told Newsmax that running as a third party candidate would split the Republican Party -- a "divide and fall" strategy -- and would "hand over the country to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and that would be very sad indeed."

Romney is not the first prominent Republican to try to dissuade Tea Party members from seeking office under a third-party mantle. Earlier this year, Sarah Palin called for the GOP and Tea Party to merge:

Definitely, they need to merge. I think those who are wanting the divisions and the divisiveness and the controversy -- those are the ones who don't believe in the message. And they're the ones, I think, stirring it up. We need to ignore that and we need to forge ahead with a cohesive message. It's a common sense message.

Romney also said that the Tea Party will greatly impact the 2010 midter elections. "I'm really pleased that the silent majority is silent no longer," he told Newsmax.