Sen. DeMint: GOP Must ‘Cut Spending’ and ‘Cut Size of Government’

By Nicholas Ballasy | February 23, 2010 | 3:40 PM EST

( -- Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) told that the Republican Party must “re-earn the trust of the American people” and, if the GOP should earn a majority in Congress, it must “cut spending” and ‘cut the size of government.”
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., DeMint spoke with about how the Republican Party should adhere to basic conservative principles, and he also cited the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee “dedicated to electing strong conservatives to the United States Senate.”

“The key to success for the Republican Party is to just have mainstream conservatives who stand on the principles that made this country great,” said DeMint.  “And I’m afraid over the years there are a number of Republicans who worked their way into office who just don’t share those principles anymore.”
“The Senate Conservatives Fund, which is, is set up to help elect mainstream conservative candidates who believe in the principles of freedom. And so, all over the country, as much as we can, we’re trying to identify the Republicans running for the U.S. Senate who would, I think, help turn not just the Republican Party around but help keep our country from going over this financial cliff that we’re on.” asked DeMint if there are any Republican incumbents that he thinks will lose re-election in November for not being conservative enough.  
“Well, I think you’re seeing that with some of our incumbents,” said DeMint. “I mean, there are primaries against some of our Republican senators. A lot of people are standing up and saying that the big spenders, the earmarks, they really don’t belong in the Republican Party at a time we’re drowning in debt.”
“So, I think you will see some strong primaries against incumbent Republicans because Americans expect and deserve, I think, a Republican who will stand up for what they say they believe in,” he said.
DeMint was also asked, “How does the Republican Party, in your mind, plan to restore credibility on fiscal issues given the last administration and the kind of spending that was done then?”
DeMint said, “That’s the key thing, because we do have to re-earn the trust of the American people. Several things we can do: First of all, we can square off earmarks because that’s one of the things that’s revealed the waste and the political pork that we we’re sending back to our states.”
“We need to say, ‘We’re not going to do any earmarks anymore,’” said DeMint. “In fact, I introduced a bill a couple weeks ago to have a one-year moratorium on earmarks and to balance the federal budget.”
“Republicans need to step forward with commitments that, if America trusts us again, with the majority, that here’s what we’re going to do,” he said.  “We’re going to cut spending, we’re going to cut the size of government, we’re going to move things back to the states that don’t have to be done here and we’re going to save ourselves from this financial cliff.”
The Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual event, was held Feb. 18-20 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. An estimated 12,000 people attended the conference.