Conservative groups promise primary opponents for DeMint critics in GOP

A coalition of conservative organizations and leaders pledged today to field primary opponents for Republican senators who “unfairly” criticize Sen. Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who led an insurgent funding effort that helped elect several of the six GOP freshmen senators in the 112th Congress

DeMint has been criticized by anonymous unnamed senior Republican sources who claim his Senate Conservative Fund supported insurgent candidates who lost races to Democrats that would have been won by more moderate GOPers.

“Such false and unfair attacks aid and abet President Obama, the Democratic Party and the liberal media.  We consider such attacks on Senator Jim DeMint an attack on us and all conservatives, and especially the conservative movement that is the successor to Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Jr., and other great progenitors of the conservative movement,” the coalition said in a letter delivered today to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“Perhaps more than any other Republican, Senator Jim DeMint is not only responsible for the net Republican gains in the Senate in the 2010 election, but has helped restore faith in the Republican Party as the party of constitutionally limited government.  He greatly energized the base of the Party, and therefore contributed to historic wins in the House, governorships and state legislatures across the country. 

“In fact, Senator Jim DeMint’s unilateral efforts to bring constitutional small government conservatives into the Senate has encouraged many conservatives to stay within the Republican Party, vote for Republican candidates, and even may have staved off formation of a third party and the demise of the Republican Party.”

The coalition promised that “continued attacks, whether indirectly or anonymously, will result in conservatives’ responding in word and deed.”

To that end, the coalition said, “conservatives will stop funding and volunteering for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Instead, conservatives will send their money to, and volunteer for, Senator DeMint’s Senate Conservative Fund and the candidates Senator DeMint supports.  In fact, it would be our goal for the Senate Conservatives Fund to raise more money than the NRSC.”

Political consultants who criticize DeMint were not exempt from the coalition's ire, as the letter promised “to defeat in Republican primaries those Republicans who retain consultants who criticize or try to undermine Senator DeMint.”

Among the signers were Richard Viguerie of ConservativeHQ.com, Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation, Al Regnery Jr of Regnery Publishing and The American Spectator,  Ron Robinson of Young America's Foundation, Drew Ryun of the American Majority Action, Craig Shirley, book author and public relations executive, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America, and Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.

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