DeMint Punches Back at Republican Establishment

South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint responded Thursday to criticism from fellow Republicans over his involvement in Christine O’Donnell’s upset victory in the Delaware GOP Primary this week. DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund has played a major role in a number of significant victories by conservative Senatorial candidates over more-established party candidates. One unnamed senior GOP aide told CNN’s Dana Bash: “I wonder who Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are calling first tonight – Chris Coons for becoming the next Senator from Delaware or Jim DeMint for helping to make it happen.” Another Republican aide set a more threatening tone, saying, “If on November 3rd there are two or three seats in Democratic control that otherwise would have been Republican victories, then that anger will come back up to the surface and there will be consequences.”

DeMint says the Republican establishment has launched “an all-out assault” against him following O’Donnell’s stunning upset victory because they are convinced she is destined to lose in November. “They say she can’t win and that by supporting her, I’ve helped lose the seat for Republicans,” said DeMint. “Well, I’ve been in the majority with Republicans who didn’t have principles, and we embarrassed ourselves and lost credibility in front of the country. Frankly, I’m at a point where I’d rather lose fighting for the right cause than win fighting for the wrong cause.”

DeMint also accused some fellow party members of working toward O’Donnell’s defeat. “The dirty little secret in Washington is that the establishment is quietly rooting for Christine to lose so they can continue to peddle their discredited line that conservatives cannot win,” said DeMint. “They mistakenly believe that a single defeat in Delaware will discredit the work we have done this year to elect principled leaders in Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, Kentucky, Utah, Nevada, Wisconsin, Washington, and Alaska. They are wrong. We can win in Delaware too and prove them wrong once again.”

Donations have been pouring into the Senate Conservatives Fund following DeMint’s war of words with party moderates. The fund has raised over $150,000 for O’Donnell’s campaign in the past 24 hours. DeMint insists he will plow forward with his support for principled conservative candidates despite the growing resentment from the Republican establishment. “They can’t use their usual political power tactics to strip me of committee chairmanships or deny me earmarks because I do not seek either. I did not come to Washington to make friends. Rather, I came to save our country and I’ve learned you can’t do it without rocking the boat.”

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