Via the Hill:
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) might back primary challengers to incumbent Republican senators after all.Without DeMint, the Senate would likely consist of Charlie Crist and Mitch McConnell's choice for the seat ultimately won by Rand Paul:
DeMint had promised after last year’s election that he would not endorse any opponents to his fellow GOP lawmakers in the 2012 cycle. But now he is angry enough with the debt-ceiling compromise that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) struck with President Obama that he might back serious challengers to Republican senators who support the plan, according to a source close to the senator.
“He’s already opened the door to changing that policy in terms of supporting people in primaries — this deal could bring him to the point where he says he’s not going to make any guarantees,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of intraparty relations. “It’s not a threat that he’s going to oppose anybody, but ... if he does, nobody should be surprised.”
DeMint, whose Senate Conservatives Fund helped finance several right-wing Republican candidates last election, angered Republican leaders when he backed a handful of conservative challengers to candidates backed by the establishment.One thing is for certain. The 2010 elections were monumental and Republicans that were either sent to Washington for the first time or reelected, were sent a very clear message that came with a short leash. The Tea Party is in no mood to look the other way when it comes to the recent debt ceiling vote.
He supported Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over McConnell’s favored candidate in Kentucky and helped give Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) an early boost in his primary against then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (I).
After the 2010 elections, DeMint promised his colleagues he would not endorse any primary candidates, but the debate over raising the debt ceiling has changed his mind. DeMint said in mid-June at the Republican Leadership Conference that “if we have folks who go the wrong way on [the debt-ceiling vote], it’s going to be pretty hard for me to sit still” and stay out of primaries.
h/t Hot Air