Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who endorsed Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell in Delaware's Republican Senate primary, said he's content with the GOP staying in the minority if the party doesn't stand for any principles.
DeMint's party argued before O'Donnell's victory that she could not win a general election in Delwarare, and polls suggest Democrat candidate Chris CoonsChris CoonsElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Overnight Healthcare: McConnell unveils new Zika package | Manchin defends daughter on EpiPens | Bill includes M for opioid crisis Dems to GOP: Help us fix ObamaCare MORE will defeat O'Donnell in November.
But DeMint, the leader of the Senate Conservatives Fund, said the GOP was on track to being a stronger party ideologically with her victory.
“I don’t want the majority back if we don’t believe anything," DeMint said on Fox News. "So I think if we want the numbers, if we want the majority, then we’re going to have to stand on some principles that the American people believe in.”
DeMint has drawn the ire of Republicans in Washington for his support of O'Donnell, who upset centrist Senate candidate Mike Castle, a nine-term congressman, in the Delaware GOP primary on Tuesday night. Castle was a popular political figure statewide who was seen as a shoo-in for the general election. Projection services have reevaluated the race now to favor Coons, and O'Donnell's win was seen as a blow to the GOP's chances of retaking the majority in the Senate.
DeMint, along with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), gave O'Donnell momentum with his endorsement.
Because of his success in backing O'Donnell, Marco RubioMarco RubioWar over the estate tax returns Clinton’s strategy: Get under Trump’s skin Rubio, Heck help out at car crash scene MORE in Florida, and other conservative candidates, DeMint has been seen as a potential leadership candidate, possibly even as a challenger to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDHS urges states to beef up election security DHS chief: 21 states sought help over election hacking concerns 9/11 bill is a global blunder that will weaken US efforts abroad MORE (R-Ky.).
McConnell's said he's already locked up the votes to remain leader, and DeMint denied interest on Wednesday in any position.
“I don’t want a leadership role," he said. "I already had one, in fact.”