Sen. Jim DeMint won’t endorse Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race but said Thursday he wants to “stop the beating” between the party's four remaining candidates and begin focusing more on President Obama.
During a 45-minute meeting with The Washington Examiner editorial board, DeMint, R-S.C., insisted Romney “excited” him, but stopped short of a full endorsement. After recent conversations with Romney, DeMint said he's comfortable with how the former Massachusetts governor has come to accept conservative ideals and and is convinced Romney wouldn't fight congressional efforts to scale back government.
Still, it was an admission that Romney lacks authenticity, a charge that has largely allowed former Sen. Rick Santorum to remain in the race.
"Romney is instinctively not necessarily a political conservative, he’s instinctively a problem solver," DeMint said. "His well developed second language now is conservative."
More important for the Republican Party, DeMint said, is capturing a Senate majority, particularly a conservative majority more likely to push for a "culture change" in the chamber. Having a Republican president would matter far less if that president didn't have a Republican Senate majority on his side, he said.
“It’s the Senate, stupid,” DeMint said. “If we don’t have the Senate, we’re going to lose every battle.”