Sen. DeMint: ‘I really don’t want Ron Paul to drop out’

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
Font Size:

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint told The Daily Caller that he doesn’t want Texas Rep. Ron Paul to drop out of the presidential race — at least not quite yet.

“I really don’t want Ron Paul to drop out until whoever our front-runner is is collecting some of the ideas that he’s talking about,” DeMint, who recently predicted Mitt Romney would win the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary, said when TheDC asked if it was time for other GOP presidential contenders to drop out and support the former Massachusetts governor.

“Ron Paul is right on the fact that we’ve got an out of control and unaccountable Federal Reserve that is eventually going to create a major crisis,” said DeMint. “He’s also right in the importance of individual liberty and the whole constitutional limited government. And more of our candidates need to incorporate that.”

DeMint, a tea party favorite, suggested that Paul may be in the race just to push the other candidates to adopt some of his libertarian ideas, not necessarily to win.

“I think that’s why he’s in it,” DeMint said. “I don’t know whether Ron Paul expects to be our nominee, but if Republicans don’t listen to a lot of the things he talks about, I don’t see how we can become a majority party.”

Earlier in the interview, DeMint noted that he disagrees with Paul’s foreign policy outlook.

“I don’t agree with Ron Paul on foreign policy and his disengagement around the world, but we’re going to end up where he is because we don’t have any money,” DeMint said. “So the Republican Party needs to become the big tent of Americans who really want freedom, prosperity, opportunity and that’s just synonymous with a more limited government.”

DeMint, who told TheDC he has no plans to endorse a presidential contender before the South Carolina primary, released a new book earlier this week, “Now or Never: Saving America from Economic Collapse.” He said he wrote it because he feels “a sense of urgency that the 2012 elections could be our last chance to turn things around and I just wanted to communicate to the people that sense of urgency, how much trouble we are really in.”

“But at the same time tell people that there is a way out, that there is a reason America has been exceptional,” he said. “They need to know what’s changed that and how we can change it back. But I just think that this could be our last chance.”

One chapter of the book is entitled “No Compromise with Democrats.” DeMint said that while he believes “compromise, cooperation is a good thing,” the parties involved “have to have a shared vision or similar goals.”

“The problem we’ve got now in Washington is that the goals are completely the opposite from each other. You’ve got the Democratic Party that now depends on more government spending and actual building the dependence on government in order to increase their political party,” he said.

“What I try to point out is that it is not so much a partisan difference, but we’ve got two different worldviews competing here of what America should be like in the future. The Democrats have essentially decided to move more toward central power, control of just about every aspect of our culture and economy. And Republicans need to return to their core principles of decentralized government of individual freedom, of a bottom-up type of nation.”

DeMint discusses in the book what Americans should look for in a political leader, so TheDC asked him what Americans should be looking for in determining who they will support for president in 2012.

“I think more than anything else right now is we need someone with a certain level of courage who is willing to say no and tell the truth,” he said. “A president needs to have courage, but also a lot of wisdom. Like I point out in this book, this isn’t doomsday, we don’t have to balance the budget next year. But we do have to show a determination and a will to move towards a balanced budget sometime out in the next 10 years.

“If we don’t,” he added, “the world is going to realize that sometime very soon we’re not going to be able to pay our bills.”

Follow Jamie on Twitter