DeMint To Meet with Cain, Perry
Senator won't tip his hand regarding possible endorsement
Sen. Jim DeMint said Tuesday that he was no closer to making a decision as to which Republican candidate he will support in the GOP race, but confirmed that he would be soon meeting with two top-tier challengers.
DeMint spoke with Patch after addressing hundreds of professionals at the 2011 Adoption and Foster Care Conference at Taylors First Baptist Church.
DeMint said that he hasn't made a decision on not only on which candidate to back, but whether or not he'll make an endorsement at all. He did confirm, however, that he would be meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who unveiled his tax plan during his Tuesday trip to South Carolina.
The senator will also be meeting with businessman Hermain Cain next week. DeMint has already met multiple times with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who received DeMint's support in 2008.
DeMint attempted to downplay the importance of his endorsement, which has been coveted by much of the Republican field.
"Well first, I don't think anyone in South Carolina is waiting for me to tell them how to vote. So I don't think my endorsement is that big of a deal," DeMint said.
DeMint said in September that he was still vetting the candidates and how they performed in their debates, which included the senator's own forum. Now it appears candidates are continuing to meet with the conservative lawmaker behind closed doors as they vie for his support in the state of South Carolina, which has correctly predicted the GOP nominee during its own primary for the last 32 years.
DeMint said during the meetings with Perry and Cain, he will ask them about their views on general issues rooted in the idea of American exceptionalism.
"I want to know what their vision for America is. I want to know their understanding of the principles of American leadership, American government and how that's different from Europeans and every other country in the world," DeMint said.
He also jabbed at the mainstream media for what he perceived as an undue influence during the debate process.
"My main observation is if we let the media run our debates, it is going to make our candidates look back, and we need to give our candidates a chance to define themselves, to talk about their vision for America, the principles they're going to base their decision-making on. That's what I'm interested in," DeMint said.