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DeMint Neutral on Presidential Race, but “We’ll Get in Lots of Senate Primaries”

New Orleans, LA—One of the leading conservative Republicans in the Senate, Jim DeMint, told HUMAN EVENTS on Friday that while he “was neutral in the presidential race so far,” he fully expected to be involved “in lots of Senate primaries” in 2012.

Sen. DeMint (R.-S.C.), whose Senate Conservative Fund (SCF) raised more than $9 million to support conservative Senate hopefuls last year, predicted that the fund would raise “a lot more for ’12” and would become involved on behalf of several conservative contenders for Senate seats.  As was the case in 2010, DeMint promised, his group would back candidates in contested primaries with more moderate hopefuls.

DeMint, who was attending the Southern Republican Leadership Conference here, said that it was likely his SCF would involve itself on behalf of candidates vying in primaries for the Senate in Ohio, Florida and Texas.  Ohio and Missouri are expected to be the sites of contested primaries to take on Democratic.  Senators Sherrod Brown and Bill Nelson respectively, while in Texas there will be a hotly contested and crowded GOP nomination battle for the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

“You probably have a pretty good idea who we will be backing,” said the South Carolinian, who raised eyebrows among “establishment” Republicans last year for siding with such conservative outsiders as Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.  (“We were with him against Arlen Specter and then Specter went and became a Democrat on us!”)  All three are now in the Senate with DeMint.  But DeMint stressed that he and his people would be “talking to and listening to” conservative activists in all of the states where they anticipated involvement before any endorsements were made.

Although he comes from a state that will host one of the earliest (and historically significant) presidential primaries, DeMint stressed to us that he was neutral in the Republican nomination battle.  As he put it, “We’re urging folks to remain neutral, listen to candidates, and just wait before making a decision on whom to back.  There’s plenty of time.”

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Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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