Sen. Jim DeMint told the combined Greenville County and Upstate Republican women’s clubs Wednesday, Aug. 31, that in the debt limit debate we saw character and spine from our South Carolina congressmen that we did not see from Tea Party Republicans all over the country.
“This time last year I was fighting people in Washington about the need to cut spending when even my own Republican colleagues were fighting about how much bacon to take home to their states,” DeMint said. “They were talking about how much more to spend.”
DeMint said Republican office holders had not been true to Republican principles when the party held the presidency and both houses of Congress, and that conservatives thought it would be 10 or 20 years before Americans listened to them again. DeMint said his biggest frustration was not that the Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008, but that the party had not been true to what it had told Americans it would do if it had a majority.
DeMint said that during the 2008 election, he heard all over the country that Americans did not really like Democrats, but that they were frustrated with Republicans. DeMint said he was pummeled for his positions inside Washington, but outside of Washington people thanked him for fighting, told him they were praying for him and asked what they could do.
Republican Party leaders told DeMint he did not understand what was going on in Washington, and that “it is not about principles. It is about the numbers.” DeMint countered that “We got in the minority by believing we could rule by numbers and not by principles,” and that “we get the numbers when we stand for principles.”
DeMint said that the numbers came in in the 2010 elections. “They came into the House. They came into the Senate. We haven’t won the battle yet, and we can’t correct in one election what it took many elections to break,” adding that the South Carolina delegation elected in 2010 is probably “the best and the brightest in the country.”
DeMint was introduced by state Rep. Dan Hamilton, who said DeMint had Tea Party principles before there was a Tea Party, and that according to the Heritage Action Legislative Scorecard, DeMint is the most conservative senator in the U.S. Senate.
You can watch Sen. DeMint’s speech online at SouthCarolinaConservative.com.
Kathy Davis is president of the Greenville County Republican Women, and Phyllis Foster is president of the Upstate Republican Women.