DeMint Warns of Third Party Threat if Congress Passes McConnell Plan

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 19 2011 12:51 PM

DeMint Warns of Third Party Threat if Congress Passes McConnell Plan

First you had Mitch McConnell warning that a default blamed on Republicans could "destroy" their "brand." Today, in a brief Q&A with conservative activists at the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint warned that a Republican punt on the debt ceiling would break faith with their own base.

"It'd be suicidal for Republicans in the House to vote for it," said DeMint. "I think for Republicans to cave on this, after what happened with the Continuing Resolution… I think you'd see a deterioration of our base of support, and a whole lot of third party activity. This is a make or break moment."

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DeMint said this to bolster an argument that, he conceded, isn't winning right now. He feared that the Senate had enough Republican votes to push through the McConnell plan. It just lacks support in the House.

Greg Sargent reports that the number of people co-signing Rep. Joe Walsh's letter against the McConnell plan will clarify whether it has enough opposition from House Republicans to actually go down. That's right -- watch it.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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