Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) ripped into Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as a "big-tent hypocrite" in a fundraising e-mail for Tea Party favorite and GOP nominee Joe Miller on Saturday.
Murkowski announced Friday that, after the primary defeat at the hands of Miller, she would pursue a write-in bid to keep her Senate seat.
DeMint's e-mail for the Senate Conservatives Fund accused Murkowski of putting her personal interests above party interests and said her move "puts this seat at serious risk."
"The establishment loves to lecture conservatives about how we need to support liberal candidates to 'expand the tent' and win seats for Republicans," DeMint wrote. "But when these candidates lose their primaries, many leave the party and join the opposition. When conservatives lose their primaries, however, they accept defeat and support the nominee. Murkowski's betrayal provides more proof that big-tent hypocrites don't really care about winning a majority for Republicans."
DeMint singled out Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) for facing "defeat" and leaving the party.
"This is why Republicans shouldn't apologize for supporting principled conservatives in primary elections, even in states like Delaware," DeMint wrote without metioning surprise nominee and Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell by name.
"Principles have never been that important to Murkowski," DeMint said, proceeding to assail his Senate colleague for her positions on cap-and-trade, healthcare reform repeal, earmarks and abortion rights.