In an editorial board meeting with The Washington Examiner today, Senator Jim DeMint said that the GOP primary process has become counterproductive. He also delivered cautious praise for the frontrunner, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
When asked by the Washington Examiner's Michael Barone if he would join Sen. Marco Rubio and endorse Mitt Romney today, DeMint declined.
"I've said that I'm not going to question his conservative credentials," Demint said. "I'm not going to endorse, I just want to stop the beating." The campaign, he said, had stopped being productive for the GOP. "If they were selling their vision for America, it's fine to keep it going, but now it's kind of deteriorated into some name calling, and we need to get on to focusing on Obama."
DeMint said he believed Romney had developed a "pragmatic conservatism," which was reaffirmed during a meeting with him last week.
"I think that Romney is instinctively not necessarily a political conservative, he's instinctively a problem solver." DeMint said comparing Romney's journey to conservatism with that of Ronald Reagan.
"When you have a conversation like I did with Romney last week, you realize the last four years have been very clarifying," DeMint said, "His well developed second language now I think is conservative thought, limited government, a pragmatic conservative in the sense that he understands our problem with the debt, the potential problem with our monetary system and I think that he's got a good grasp on the problems, so from a pragmatic standpoint he knows that we have to eliminate some agencies and make some pretty serious changes."
DeMint added that it would not be accurate to say he has merely "resigned" to Romney as the nominee.
"I'm going to feel good if its Romney or Santorum or whatever, I think you're going to see that Obama in the White House is a great unifying factor," he said. "I think you could pull somebody off the street and nominate him and you're going to see some excitement."
Listen to the audio below: