DeMint Called Out by Rick Perry on Eve of Texas Senate Vote
Voters go to polls today for the hotly contested Texas Senate race.
When Rick Perry was running for president he made nice with South Carolina's junior Senator Jim DeMint, even if he was not able to attend Demint's Labor Day candidates forum.
But that was a long time ago. The Texas governor sharply criticized DeMint on the eve of a primary for US Senator. Perry's lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst has been locked in a battle with Ted Cruz for the right to be the GOP nominee in the race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz has raised millions of dollars from outside the Lone Star State in his pursuit of the office, including $2 million from DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund. Several high-profile politicians have come to Texas and campaigned on Cruz's behalf, including DeMint, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin.
While at a phone bank calling voters for Dewhurst, Perry lashed out at DeMint and his supporters, saying that they were having an undue impact on the race and that DeMint's backers were trying to help him replace Texas' John Cornyn as the Majority Whip.
"I don’t think anybody knows David Dewhurst any better than I do. And when we talk about what’s going to be best for Texas, is a senator from South Carolina going to be better for Texas than John Cornyn?" Perry said.
Cruz and Dewhurst were the top two finishers in a June primary, with Dewhurst finishing 10 points ahead. But since then, Cruz has surged, due in large part to a concerted effort by DeMint, who has flooded his supporters' e-mail accounts with pleas to donate to Cruz's campaign. Polls show Cruz with a solid lead heading into election day.
DeMint has earned a reputation as a kingmaker of sorts among more conservative Republicans in the past few years. He was instrumental in raising millions that helped several Tea Party candidates win office in 2010, including Rand Paul in Kentucky, Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Mike Lee in Utah.