Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is a rising GOP star.(Photo: Charlie Neibergall, AP)
MIAMI (AP) -- This was not the revolution the tea party had in mind.
Four years ago, the movement and its potent mix of anger and populism persuaded thousands of conservatives to protest the deficit and President Barack Obama's health care law.
The tea party swept a crop of no-compromise lawmakers into Congress and governor's offices and transformed political up-and-comers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, into household names.
But as many tea party stars seek re-election next year and Rubio considers a 2016 presidential run, conservative activists are finding themselves at a crossroads.
Many of their standard-bearers have embraced more moderate positions on bedrock issues such as immigration and health care, broadening their appeal in swing states but dampening grass-roots passion.
MICHAEL J. MISHAK, Associated Press