U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, who easily won re-election Tuesday night over Democrat Alvin Greene and Green Party candidate Tom Clements, spent a lot of his time outside the state on the campaign trail helping other GOP congressional candidates get elected.
A number of those candidates’ successful runs were fueled by the “Tea Party” movement that has also elevated DeMint’s stature in the national Republican Party. Appearing on CNN on Tuesday night, DeMint says it would be a mistake to attribute the conservative mood of the country solely as a product of the work of the Tea Party.
DeMint issued an emphatic “no” when asked if he plans to run for the GOP nomination for President in 2012.
One of the Republican candidates DeMint supported during the campaign was Kentucky U.S. Senator-elect Rand Paul. A member of the Tea Party Movement, Paul says he wants to create a Tea Party Caucus in Washington. DeMint says he instead envisions the ideals of the Tea Party incorporated into the existing Conservative Caucus – of which he is chairman.
DeMint fears there will be more gridlock in Congress in the coming two years, but he is hopeful that the new Republican majority in the House may offer some relief.
Democratic leaders in Congress have charged Republicans’ unwillingness to compromise on a number of legislative issues as the root cause of congressional gridlock.