From ABC News -- (emphasis added)
South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is in the midst of the Tea Party vs. GOP establishment debate. McClatchy’s James Rosen notes that DeMint “faces criticism that the millions he spent on hard-right candidates cost Republicans control of the U.S. Senate” and some Republican elected officials and pundits have already sent warning shots DeMint’s way.
Conservative Republicans are having none of it, however, and they are instead sticking close by DeMint. “The big winners of 2010 are Jim DeMint and Sarah Palin and liberal and moderate Republicans can’t stand it,” conservative leader Brent Bozell said in an interview with ABC News. “The Republican Party owes Jim DeMint a massive debt of gratitude and a standing ovation for what he did.” Bozell fired back at prominent Republicans, including DeMint’s South Carolina colleague, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who have suggested that endorsing insurgent candidates was a mistake.
“If the moderates in the Republican Party want war, they’re going to lose,” Bozell said, holding up Graham as an example. “I guarantee you we will see their political carcasses when they come up for re-election.” Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, one of the most active conservative groups of the 2010 election cycle, called DeMint one of the “shining lights” of the Senate. “Our movement is better off without having Mike Castle as the 51st vote,” said Phillips, who also participated in Friday’s meeting.