WASHINGTON EXAMINER | Paul Bedard | February 8, 2012
While still wishing for a conservative nominee, the influential South Carolina lawmaker said it is more important to pick a winner, a position many Republican voters agree with. “It doesn’t matter which four of the Republicans wins. If one of them wins [the White House], we can pull the country from a cliff,” he told Washington Secrets.
Promoting his new book “Now or Never, Saving America from Economic Collapse,” which he described as a rallying cry to defeat Democrats, DeMint said Paul, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have “attributes that could work.”
But he singled out Paul’s focus on individual liberty, cutting the power of the Federal Reserve and limited government as positions the final nominee should include in his platform. “If our nominee doesn’t pick up a lot of Ron Paul’s ideas, we’re missing the boat and we’re missing a lot of people who could help us build our party,” he said. "These are not wild ideas."
South Carolina gave Gingrich his only victory, but DeMint said it was mostly because voters wanted a fighter. In Florida, he said, Romney took that role, which he gave the former Massachusetts governor credit for. “It’s like a lot of business people, it’s not natural to be uncivil and attack your competitor,” said DeMint, “but he realized that he can’t win just by being presidential because being presidential to Republicans and conservatives this time means a whole lot more more than just looking good in a suit and giving a speech. They want somebody who’s not going to take any prisoners.”
In his book, DeMint makes the case that Republicans must win the White House and Senate this year to slow or end the expansion of government handouts that he said helps Democrats get elected. “Republicans will continue to decrease every year as more Americans become dependent on the government,” he wrote.
“Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans to win enough votes to win the presidency and a majority in Congress, and enact policies that might turn our nation around from the imminent threat of fiscal calamity,” he added.